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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rambling: Introduction

This is my oldest complete game design (Spectrum is the only older concept that has survived to this day, but the amount of rewriting and reworking that it's taken has kept it at a much smaller completion percentage than Rambling). In simple terms, Rambling is a fairy tale. It takes place in a world clearly based off dozens of fairy tales we in our world know and love, and it follows the journey of the two main characters from one of my personal favorites: Snow White and Rose Red. The game is plotted as an SRPG, with the battle system clearly inspired by the fantastic Nippon Ichi game La Pucelle and taking additional cues from the Disgaea series, Makai Kingdom, and several more traditional RPGs as well. Dear reader, I present to you the short, the sweet, the simple: Rambling.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spectrum: Chapter Two 5/5

   The Golden Goddess was the most powerful enemy they had fought so far. She had a wide variety of dangerous magics that could dazzle their vision with sunspots, making it impossible for them to see her. Half of the time they were fighting blind! The Goddess’ tremendous limbs were also deadly, as a single crushing blow could easily render them unconscious. To make matters worse, golden statues of various enemies they had fought before—Whackoons, Fanged Caterpillars, Piggapods—would sometimes fall from the Goddess’ hair and come to life to aid her in battle! These new opponents came as more of a blessing than a curse, however. At this point, they were well experienced in fighting such beings and could easily dispatch them, and when defeated, these lesser monsters dissolved into golden light that gave the party a feeling of serenity, allowing them to continue fighting.

   It was the job of Seles and Clara to attack the Golden Goddess head-on. Seles’ arrows gave him the distance he needed to strike safely out of range of the Goddess’ blows, and Clara’s rod remained the most effective weapon against her stone skin. Niay destroyed the golden enemies as quickly as the Goddess could summon them to keep the party in good shape, and when Pyre wasn’t using acupressure to keep her allies fighting, she attacked whatever was closest to her with sword and fists. Although it seemed like it was the end more than once, the quartet emerged victorious, and the Golden Goddess broke apart and fell to the ground in pieces.

   They managed to wrestle the heavy lid of the ebony coffin to the ground, and the moment they did so, the room was filled with a marvelous light. Even weakened and drained of power, the spirit of Earth was a majestic sight, rising from her prison with impossible beauty and grace. Yes: it was she, Faience, who had been incarcerated within the coffin.

   Someone had entered the Sepia Palace and attacked Faience, damaging her so severely that she had been unable to prevent her imprisonment within the coffin. The element of wood had further weakened her powers, leaving her unable to help herself. The stone sentinels that lined her halls had been called to life by her need and danger, but without her control, they had attacked anything they saw, including Seles and his friends. She apologized abjectly for indirectly endangering them and gladly entrusted to them her powers through an ancient artifact: the Opal Scroll, which empowered them with her element of Earth.

   To Pyre Faience granted the ability to coat her weapons with elemental magic, strengthening her strikes against enchanted enemies such as the Golden Goddess. With the breath of magic upon her weapon, Pyre could even call upon magical enhancements, allowing her to perform mighty finishing techniques as long as she could gather up enough chi through her preliminary strikes to fuel them.

   Through Niay Faience manifested the “yang” of her earthly powers, giving him the ability to weave spells of protection and healing. These spells, Faience said, would be fueled by the kindness of Niay’s spirit, and would protect his friends upon their journey.

   Through Clara Faience manifested the “yin” of her earthly powers, giving her the crushing strength of rock and the formidable anger of the shaking earth. These spells, Faience explained, would be fueled by the strength of Clara’s soul in much the same way as Niay’s would channel the kindness of his spirit.

   To Seles Faience granted her most potent gift: mastery over the Opal Scroll. Using it, he could call upon Faience herself, manifesting an avatar of her power that would come to his aid. She was so weak, however, that she would need time between such manifestations to recover for the next; he could not simply call upon her indiscriminately. Regardless, if Seles called upon her at the entrance to Mount Hellena Bas-Crysalli, she would gladly lend him her strength. Furthermore, now he could use the Opal Scroll from anywhere in the world to return to the Sepia Palace for healing and advice.

   There was more, however. Faience recognized the flaming wreath Seles had won from the Tinderfly oh so long ago as the Garnet Wreath, the unique magical artifact of Rogalian, the other elemental spirit whose powers they would need. However, the wreath’s powers were startlingly low, convincing Faience that Rogalian had to be in as much trouble as she herself had been, if not more. The spirit told them that although the Garnet Wreath should have been able to take them straight to Rogalian’s Crimson Palace, this was no longer possible with its virtue so reduced. They would have to return to the Ringcon Caves and search out the path to the Crimson Palace on foot. Faience wished she could tell them more, but as the spirits never left their palaces, she knew the way no better than they did.

   There was also, of course, the matter of the mark of the evil arrow on Seles’ skin. Faience attempted to use her powers of healing upon it, but the mark was filled with such potent dark magic that she could not even touch Seles’ hand because of it. The silver birthmark on the opposite side of his chest captured her attention as well, but even she could not say why. She could not help Seles with the curse any more than Melise or Agatha, and from the state of the Garnet Wreath, she very much feared Rogalian would be rendered equally powerless. However, she promised to think about the problem while they were gone and inform them of any solution she could devise.

   One last gift Faience gave them: a tuft of Kitsune Fur, which she had used in the creation of the Golden Goddess. She told them to seek out Fu, the demonic blacksmith, who alone would have the skill needed to unlock the fur’s potential. Although Pyre and Niay balked at the idea of dealing with a demon, Faience assured them that the Opal Scroll would serve as both bargaining chip and protection against any mischief Fu might consider.

   Seles used the Magic Carpet to fly them back to the entrance of the palace out on the side of the Opal Mountains, and they returned to Mandala to discuss their next move.

Spectrum: Chapter Two 4/5

   When they entered the secret entrance Agatha had revealed to them, they found themselves in a great underground cathedral limned with precious stones and metals: all the glory of the earth. Niay, who could read the ancient letters inscribed upon the walls, learned that this place was called the Sepia Palace and shared this information with the others.

   The palace was ornamented with a great many statues of figures both strange and beautiful, all carved out of stone with eyes of jewels and clothes of gold. However, as the echo of Clara’s heels touched the walls around them, the statues came to life and took up arms against them!

   There was quite a variety in the kind of statues that confronted them. Sword-wielding Obsidian Valkyries strode to the attack; floating Pumice Nymphs struck with crushing stone flora and powerful spells. By far the most dangerous enemy was the Clay Sorceress, a silent figure who crafted Gold Vipers and Glass Bats from the walls of the palace even as they fought her! It took all of the group’s wits to make it through this complicated area alive: Seles aimed his arrows straight for any Clay Sorceress in the area while Clara struck down Obsidian Valkyries with her Magical Rod. Pyre grappled with the Valkyries, keeping them safely away from Clara, and Niay used his whip to nail down the agile Pumice Nymphs.

   It proved to be a long, hard trek, but in the end they made it down into an enormous chamber that glowed with the light of a searing lake of virgin magma that surrounded it on all sides. The chamber overlooked the rest of the palace, which plunged straight into the magma and continued down for an unfathomable distance; they had only explored a tiny sliver of their location.

   In the middle of this glowing chamber was an altar of black ebony…or, as Pyre realized, a coffin. As they neared it, the chamber shuddered as though in an earthquake, and a truly enormous statue of a goddess wreathed in gold became sentient…and violent!

Spectrum: Chapter Two 3/5

   Freed from the power of the Corposant Eyes, Agatha floated down from the sky, returning to her normal self. As she shook herself like a sleeper awakening from a deep dream, she realized everything that she had done, and she was horrified.

   The Corposant Eyes had appeared from nowhere one day, bearing a message from someone named Acheron. Acheron had threatened to kill Agatha if she “interfered,” and then the Corposant Eyes had possessed her body. It was actually the Eyes that had cast the dark spells that had turned the Tellah Forest into such an evil place and attempted to take over Mandala…and also teleported King Merope away. Because Agatha had been the channel for the Eyes, she knew where the king had been sent: to Acheron, who was hiding in the fiery center of Mount Hellena Bas-Crysalli, an active volcano north of Mandala. However, if they were going to storm Mount Hellena Bas-Crysalli, they were going to need the powers of Faience, the spirit of Earth—in order to move aside the rocks for safe passage—and the powers of Rogalian, the spirit of Fire—in order to protect themselves from the heat of the volcano.

   Although Agatha would have liked to help them further, her own powers had been drained by the presence of the Corposant Eyes, and she could not. She did however assure them that, as her powers returned, she would do her utmost to atone for everything she had done while under Acheron’s control. She informed them that Faience lived somewhere deep underneath this very mountain, and she used her magic crystal ball to show them the entrance at the base. With this information in mind, Seles used the Magic Carpet to fly back to safety.

   At this point, they had a decision to make. They could either head back to Mandala to rest and recover, or they could plunge right ahead into Faience’s domain. What would you do?

Spectrum: Chapter Two 2/5

   Eventually the Bramblers were defeated, and they stepped into a final portal that took them to the base of the Opal Mountains. Niay warned them that from here on, things were about to become very dangerous; they had to stay on their guard.

   Their trip up the mountain was long and arduous. Whackoons, Jackkoons, and Fangflies swarmed them from all sides. Enormous Rock Golems rose up from the ground and tried to smash them with their massive stone palms. Slippery Gold Vipers lashed out from unexpected cracks in the ground, snapping with their venomous opal teeth. Bright colors and unusual rocks distracted them. A rockslide nearly obliterated them all, forcing them to take a new route through a cavern populated by throngs of Glass Bats and Rock Golems. Fragile floors shattered underneath Clara’s high heels, dumping her down into caverns filled with Gold Vipers.

   Without Niay, they never would made it through this violent and distracting area. Niay’s skill with a whip allowed him to use it to swing across gaps and pull down distant stalagmites, and Ken’s Hammer was such a powerful tool that Seles could use it to smash rocks that had fallen in their way. Pyre’s Acupressure proved a literal lifesaver, as did Seles’ amassed collection of Flower Seeds. And Clara? Much to her astonishment, she found that the ephemeral powers of her Magical Rod made it the only weapon effective against the colossal Rock Golems.

   It was a difficult journey, but eventually they made it to the top of the Opal Mountain, where they saw a most unusual sight: a tall house running around on chicken legs! They chased the house around the mountaintop, splitting up and trying to catch the thing, but it was too quick for them. Finally, at the end of her rope, Clara screamed for the house to stop—and it did, nestling down much like a hen on her eggs.

   This was even odder than seeing the house to begin with, but they had no time to ponder its meaning. They leapt for the house and made it into the front door.

   Agatha was inside the house, but she was, to put it mildly, uncooperative. She brought the chairs around her table to life and used them as a distraction. The chairs were insignificant combatants, but they bought Agatha the time she needed to escape outside. While Seles and Pyre smashed the chairs into kindling, Clara chanced to see a treasure box near the stairs that contained a tuft of Kitsune Fur.

   Pursuing Agatha, they found her outside, surrounded by the Mandalan Army. King Merope was at the head of his soldiers, sword drawn. Cackling, Agatha used fiery magic to strike down the soldiers; the king managed to evade the spell’s burst, but many of his soldiers were killed instantly. Her cackle becoming insane, Agatha opened the folds of her robe to release five flaming Corposant Eyes, which surrounded her and lifted her into the air. She opened a magical portal underneath Merope, teleporting him to an unknown location—possibly the bottom of the sea, or the heart of a volcano!—and then turned her magic onto Seles and his allies.

   Levitating under the power of the Corposant Eyes, Agatha flew across the field wrapped in a cloud of darkness, continuing to cackle. However, she was nothing more than a distraction. The five Corposant Eyes roaming across the mountainside were the true threat. Each Eye could strike with electrical tentacles or cast a spell called St. Elmo’s Fire, which would attack one target with flaming lightnings.

   Pyre used her Acupressure to keep everyone’s health up, but her abilities were not enough; she and Niay had to keep a close eye on everybody and administer Flower Seeds constantly to ensure that none of their allies perished. Meanwhile, Clara and Seles ganged up on one Corposant Eye at a time. Although the Eyes were quick and powerful, they were not at all durable, and it was easy to finish them off once Seles had knocked them down with his arrows. It was a fast and furious fight, but it finally ended with the victory of Seles and his allies.

Spectrum: Chapter Two: Agatha, Faience, and Acheron

   The Tellah Forest was a mysterious wood grown in the outlay of a heinous maze to stop people from reaching Agatha's demesnes: the Opal Mountains. The strange trees with their cloudlike foliage and huge, lamplike flowers hid not only the sun above, but also dozens of magical portals placed strategically to deter intruders. Seles accidentally walked into one just inside the wood and disappeared, giving Clara and Pyre quite a fright; however, he soon reappeared, realizing that this area was going to be trickier than he had thought.

   The Ghosts that roamed this area were sometimes corporeal enough to drop White Capes, which provided an extra defensive and evasive boost (as well as being quite a fashion statement). The woods were also swarming with Fanged Caterpillars, Fangflies, and the unusual Jackkoon, which was a raccoon crossed with a jack-o-lantern. Niay proved himself invaluable in this area; having visited here before, he had a mental map of the teleportation portals and their exits, which made the travel much easier. He told the others that the forest had been around for as long he could remember, but when he and Ken had been children, the woods had simply been haunting and labyrinthine, rather than dangerous and monster-filled the way they were now.

   As they traveled, Pyre took the occasional moment to study her texts on acupressure and learned the locations of healing pressure points. She began to use them on her allies to keep their endurance high, a necessary precaution considering the amount of enemies they were beginning to encounter.

   Everything not blocked by enormous fallen trees or magical teleports was overgrown with poisonous brambles. This was probably why Seles wasn’t too surprised when they stepped through a teleport and found themselves facing off against a Brambler like the one Seles had fought alone back in the Lattice Forest.

   What did surprise him was the fact that there were two of them.

   Seles shouted to stick together and tackle the Bramblers one at a time, to take them down faster. Pyre called out that it would be better to split up and tackle both enemies simultaneously to keep them both distracted. What would you do?

Final Fantasy 19: BOSS: Badger's Solo - Azure Highwind, Mark II

Azure Highwind
Level: 8, HP: 520, MP: 120
Rewards: Phoenix Down (always)
Weakness: Poison
Special: !Jump : Azure becomes temporarily untargetable; Attack x2
Vulnerable to: Mini
Attacks: Attack, !Jump
Sketch: Attack, Attack
Blue Magic: None
Draw Spell: None

Level: 4, HP: 260, MP: 2
Rewards: Ether (always)
Strong: Thunder, Wind, Resists: Earth
Special: !Bronze Breath : Earth-elemental attack on all; Attack x1
Vulnerable to: Mini
Attacks: Attack, !Bronze Breath, Slow
Sketch: Slow, !Bronze Breath
Blue Magic: None
Draw Spell: None

BGM: Final Fantasy I Boss Theme A

Badger on his own against two bosses?! Now you see why the surly stripe-dog needed a full suit of armor before entering the Chaos Shrine! Don't worry, through, as Badger possesses all the tools he needs to emerge victorious from this battle.

Azure and Saturnos haven't changed much from their first encounter with the wacky white mage, which could spell trouble for Badger if you're not careful. Azure follows his old pattern of Attack, Attack, !Jump, repeat. Saturnos has a higher chance of using Slow than his physical attack this time, but still doesn't have enough MP to follow through on that threat (which is good, as Slow could seriously screw you over in this battle).

Badger has two ways to gain the upper hand over these two. Start the battle by Sketching Saturnos, which a 75% chance of producing the Slow spell. Unlike Saturnos, Badger's Sketch doesn't need MP and will therefore actually work. Azure and Saturnos are none too quick to begin with, and slapping Slow on them will cut the number of attacks you'll receive during this battle almost in half.

Advantage Number Two is only available to Badger if you've reached level 5, but it makes this fight laughably easy. Both Azure Highwind and Saturnos are vulnerable to Mini. And what do you know? Badger conveniently learns the spell Compression on level 5, which just happens to - can anyone guess? - cause the
Mini status effect. Mini drastically lowers the affected target's Strength and Defense, making this less of a battle and more of a Badgerzilla rampage.

If you've got Compression, cast it on Azure until it sticks and then Sketch or Compress Saturnos at your leisure. The Sorceress Hunter and his dragon will only get turns every other century or so, and when they do attack, they'll barely scratch you. Smash them with a hammer and proceed with the story.

If you're on level 3 or 4, this fight is still winnable, but you'll have to be careful to heal yourself every second or third turn your enemies take. You'll need Slow to hit both enemies quite quickly and you'll need to pray that Azure doesn't Jump too many times before you can off Saturnos. Badger's normal physical attack should deal 50 - 60 damage to Saturnos, so at worst, it'll take six hits to finish him off; play defensively until Azure is alone, at which point he stops Jumping and becomes much easier to take down. Slow is the key to winning this fight without Compression; if Azure and Saturnos are slowed, Badger can easily fit three or four physical attacks in between their strikes, quickly giving him the upper hand.

Congratulations! You've protected Ultimecia from becoming Sorceress Hunter shish-kebob long enough for her to initiate time travel (no punching the timestream jokes, please). Enjoy the psychedelic, Disney-worthy images while you travel, until you land right smack-dab in...

Final Fantasy 19: Timely Hijinks at the Chaos Shrine

Location: Chaos Shrine
Party members: Badger, Ultimecia
Opponents: Goblin, Wolf, Warg Wolf, Skeleton, Ghoul, Gigas Worm
Items: Tent, Potion, Floppy Hat
BGM: Final Fantasy I Chaos Temple

"When the world was young, the primal deities sealed Jaed the Netherlord deep beneath the earth. Its decrepit chambers tainted by a foul and unholy air, the Shrine of Chaos is said to mark the site of his prison."
- Final Fantasy Tactics

Ah, the Chaos Shrine. Ruined pillars, chunks of masonry, creeping vines, and a surprisingly large amount of monsters.

Preparation: You really, really want Badger to have a full set of armor before entering here. Badger will have to spend all of his time healing himself if this is not the case.

Monster formations:
Goblin, Goblin, Goblin, Goblin, Goblin
Goblin, Goblin, Goblin, Goblin, Wolf
Wolf, Wolf, Wolf
Wolf, Wolf, Warg Wolf
Skeleton, Skeleton, Skeleton
Skeleton, Skeleton, Ghoul
Skeleton, Skeleton, Gigas Worm

Goblins and Wolves are nothing new to you, but the other enemies present have taken a step up in battle tactics. The most dangerous enemy around is the Ghoul, which can cause Paralysis with its physical attack. If it paralyzes both Badger and Ultimecia, its attendant Skeletons can easily take you apart before you can
regain motor functions.

Fortunately, the undead have this unfortunate weakness you are probably already aware of: they take damage from healing spells. And what do you know? Your party is full of healing spells. A cast of Cure will put a Ghoul on its last legs; one Curaja and any undead is done for. Kill them with love and reap the experience-rich benefits.

Anyway, Ghouls paralyze and Skeletons have high Attack power, but both are vulnerable to Cure spells, which neutralizes them as effectively as milk in lemon juice (eww). Goblins and Wolves aren't much of a threat either, as you've just spent all your time on the outside world slaughtering them in various ways. Warg Wolves are hardier than Wolves, but not much stronger; their first two turns will be physical attacks, while their third turn will be used to "Call for Help" and summon another normal Wolf to the battle. Of course, Thundaja will one-shot them, so this is hardly a problem.

An enemy worth paying attention to is the Gigas Worm. Not because it's ugly (although it is) or because it's powerful (because it isn't): no, the Gigas Worm is a blessing because Drawing from it will teach Ultimecia Firaja, which, pathetically enough, the Gigas Worm himself is weak to. It is well worth your time to wander the halls of the Chaos Shrine and fight enemies until you find a Gigas Worm to draw Firaja from.

Collect the treasure scattered around the edges of the Shrine (there's a Floppy Hat in a chest, in case you didn't follow my advice and buy one for Badger in Cornelia) and then enter the center chamber. Ultimecia begins to gather power in preparation for timestream-entering, but damn the luck - Azure Highwind shows up again, intent on having Ultimecia's head on his pike. Ultimecia is locked in spellcasting; it is up to Badger to defend her.

Valkyrie Profile Hrist: Sacred Phase

.At certain periods, Freya will contact you and request your return to Asgard. These periods are known as Sacred Phases.
.Unlike those of Valkyrie Profile Lenneth, several events occur during Sacred Phases:
.Freya will present you with goals for the next chapter.
.Your performance will be rated against the performance of Lenneth and Silmeria, and you may receive rewards and Evaluation points for doing better than they did.
.You may accept and/ or report the completion of various quests from your fellow gods.
.Odin may request that you train a particular type of warrior for his uses, or that you raise a certain character's Hero Level.
.If Odin made such a request during the previous Sacred Phase, you must fulfill it here or risk his great displeasure.
.If conflict is brewing, a War Battle may commence.
.You may explore Asgard for experience and quest rewards.

Valkyrie Profile Hrist: The Passing of Time

.While in Asgard, time does not flow the way it does in the mortal world of Midgard. You can spend as much time as you desire fighting, forging, and visiting locations in Asgard without worrying about time passing in the game as a whole. This makes Asgard the ideal place to grind for levels.
.When on Midgard, time does flow as we are used to. Visiting any location will take up time, bringing you closer to the eventual sealing of the portal to Nifelheim and the end of the game.

Final Fantasy 19: FF1 Nostalgia: Cornelia

Location: Cornelia
Party members: Badger, Ultimecia
Opponents: None
Items: ??
BGM: Final Fantasy I Town Theme

It's your first town! And FFI veterans should recognize it in a heartbeat: it's Cornelia, that lovely city, that paradigm of civilization, that...well, it's actually pretty boring, but it does have shops, and that's a plus at least.

Item Shop:
Potion, 50
Ether, 1500
Antidote, 50
Gold Needle, 200
Echo Screen, 120
Phoenix Down, 500
Sleeping Bag, 500
Tent, 1200

Stock up on a few Potions and Antidotes. In this early stage of the game, you may want to conserve Ultimecia's MP for Thundaja, so stocking MP-free healing isn't a bad idea, even though she has Curaja. You'll have ample use for Antidotes once you start encountering Hornets, so stock up now while you can.

Weapon Shop:

Amusingly, Cornelia sells exactly the same weapons as it does in FFI, although no character you ever recruit will use the Nunchuck, Knife, or Rapier, and the only character that can use the Staff comes equipped with a weapon that is many times better. Naturally, Badger has a Hammer already, so unless you're one of those completionists who just has to have every item no matter how useless, you can skip going to this weapon shop altogether.

Armor Shop:
Bronze Bangle
Power Armlet
Floppy Hat
Cotton Robe

Aha, finally, a good place to spend your money. Both characters can upgrade to Power Armlets here, and Badger would be well-advised to trade in his Collar for a Floppy Hat. Not only does it offer more protection, the images associated with it are hilarious. You afore-mentioned completionists, however, should beware: there is only one plain Collar in the entire game, and Badger comes equipped with it! You won't need it for anything throughout the game (ever,) but if you plan to finish the game with a full item list, hold onto that Collar.

Although Badger expects to head to the castle in proper RPG fashion, Ultimecia points out that that's pretty stupid when she's trying to avoid attention. This is merely a rest stop on the way to the real destination: the Chaos Shrine to the north, which Ultimecia can use to jump back into the timestream.

That's right. No castle-visiting for you. If you try to go in, the guards demand Light Warrior identification, and when Badger can't produce any, he gets rudely escorted off the drawbridge. Stupid guards.

Once you're done fooling around, leave Cornelia and head further north to the hulking, foreboding shadow of the Chaos Shrine.

Final Fantasy 19: Traveling to Cornelia

Location: World Map. Between the White Abbey and Cornelia
Party members: Badger, Ultimecia
Opponents: Crazy Horse, Goblin, Wolf
BGM: Final Fantasy I Main Theme

Ah, the world map! (Well, one of them, at least.) Smell that fresh air. See that lushly waving grass. Watch the hell out for that rampaging pony.

Preparation: None, for now.

Monster formations:
Goblin, Goblin, Goblin, Goblin
Wolf, Wolf
Wolf, Wolf, Wolf
Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse, Crazy Horse

Goblin, Goblin, Goblin, Goblin
Wolf, Wolf
Wolf, Wolf, Wolf

You won't find anything more interesting than physical attacks coming your way from these enemies, so retaliate in kind. On the off chance either Badger or Ultimecia take heavy damage somehow, you can: use Badger's Cure spell; cast Ultimecia's Curaja spell; use Draw to steal HP (Ultimecia only, of course); or run back to the White Abbey for healing. With so many options for recovery around, you shouldn't have any problems reaching Cornelia in one piece.

It is, however, of interest to note that many enemies in this game will drop accessories for your equipping pleasure. Even here, with these most basic of enemies, you can garner a few early accessories if you really take the time to fight for them. Crazy Horses have a small chance of dropping the Horse Rock, which raises
the lucky equipee's Strength and Speed. Goblins have a MINISCULE chance of dropping the Goblin Eidolon, which is next to useless at the moment but can come in handy much, much later in the game. Frankly, farming for these accessories isn't worth your time at the moment; you'll find a Horse Rock in a dungeon before too long, and the Goblin Eidolon isn't worth getting until you have Imp equipment.

Simply head north to find Cornelia.

Valkyrie Profile Hrist: Our Protagonist

~ Hrist ~
Gender: Female
Race: God
Age: N/A
Weapon: Light Sword/ Spear/ Bow
Soul Crush: Nibelung Valesti

.Eldest of the three Valkyrie sisters, she is much respected in Asgard for her devotion to her duty. Einherjar desire to serve under her with the knowledge that, if they serve her well, she may avenge them upon their still-living foes.
.As your protagonist, and a Valkyrie besides, it's no surprise that Hrist is one cool customer on the battlefield. Unlike most of the gods, she can learn any skill in the game and can actually acquire a Hero Level through certain actions and events in the story, and unlike any other character, she can equip three different types of weapons.
.Hrist has very high strength and agility, making her a powerful and slippery fighter. She can equip several very durable pieces of divine armor as well, giving her high defenses. This is all good, as her DME is rather low and you will want to keep her alive.
.Hrist can never be removed from your party, although she will not be present in all battles.
.Should Hrist perish in battle and not be revived within three turns, all Einherjar in your party will immediately be K.O.'d as well. Gods, humans, and undead may continue fighting, however.

Valkyrie Profile Hrist: Gameplay

@ Asgard
.Learn of and accept assignments for the destruction of the undead or human heretics from Freya.
.Learn of and accept assignments for the destruction of various unholy creatures in the realms of the gods from Odin, Freya, and other gods.
.Learn of and accept fetch quests from various gods to locate materials and/ or artifacts in Asgard, Midgard, and other realms.
.Outperform your sisters Lenneth and Silmeria at the duties of a Valkyrie and collect rewards for doing such.
.Aid the gods in their battles against the undead and other foes.
.Request the services of Einherjar from Odin. Einherjar may already be on assignation and thus be unavailable for questing.
.Return a previously commissioned Einherjar to Odin at his request for their services on an assignment unrelated to your duties.
.Utilize divine fusion and dwarven forgery to craft new weapons and artifacts for your usage.

@ Midgard
.Hunt down various monsters or human heretics to fulfill your assignments from Freya.
.Locate various materials and/ or artifacts to fulfill fetch quests.
.Train Einherjar under your command that Odin is requesting to participate in separate jobs.
.Learn of the tragedies and betrayals that haunt your Einherjar and mete out vengeance on their behalf.
.Find the souls of the worthy who are close to death and bring them to Valhalla as new Einherjar.
.Locate rumors and reports of monsters and the undead from mortals in order to hunt them down and slay them.
.Foil the diabolical workings of Genevieve, Hel, and Lady Beliza.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Valkyrie Profile Hrist: Introduction

Some of you are hopefully acquainted with the magnificent old PS1/ PSP game Valkyrie Profile, which, despite its creative liberties with the world of Norse mythology, was in all ways a truly stellar game. (If you're not, you should seriously check it out.) The game spawned two sequels: the first (Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria) almost killed the series, and the second (Covenant of the Plume) was an interesting successor to the original but suffered from the damage Silmeria had caused to the franchise. Due to the underwhelming performance of these two prequels, it is up in the air whether a Valkyrie Profile starring the third Valkyrie sister, Hrist, will ever be produced. As such, it's fair game for me to imagine it! Seize your weaponry, my loyal Einherjar, and follow me into creative battle with this elusive creature: Valkyrie Profile Hrist.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

GameFAQs Game FAQ: GrimGrimoire Unit Guide

Here, have another guide! This one is for a little-known PS2 game called "GrimGrimoire." It may not have gotten much critical acclaim, but I really enjoyed it, so I decided to write up a guide on its units!

Spectrum: Chapter One 5/5

   Pyre was a hardy, experienced warrior, and with her sword added to Seles’ bow and Clara’s rod, the Whackoons, Piggapods, Wood Birds, and Fangflies (apparently an evolved form of the Fanged Caterpillars that had infested the Lattice Forest) fell easily. She was also far wiser in the mechanics of battle than either Seles or Clara; she suggested that they all switch their weapons amongst each other, so as to become proficient at multiple armaments just in case Clara should ever need to defend herself hand-to-hand or Seles should ever need to unleash a magical assault.

   It turned out that Pyre was also trained in ancient medical and martial arts. She knew how to focus her energy to temporarily increase her strength, speed, and endurance, and assured Seles and Clara that she would certainly learn more techniques as she visited new places and absorbed new experiences.

   The Sanctuary was not too far from Mandala, and they made good time on their way there. The terrain consisted mostly of gentle hills and vibrant meadows, and travel was easy. Before long, they had reached it.

   They were welcomed by a young priest named Niay, who brought them to the Abbess of the monastery. The Abbess recognized Pyre as the Mandalan Princess and offered her free respite at the Sanctuary whenever she should need it. When she heard that Pyre was going to petition Agatha to halt her dark magic takeover of Mandala, the Abbess put her full support behind the idea. She offered them a Magic Carpet that could carry them out of places of evil if they got in trouble and the assistance of Niay, who was well schooled in the holy arts and had some knowledge of the Tellah Forest. Niay was happy to put his sacred training to good use.

   Leaving the Abbess’ room, Niay asked that they first stop by his room so that he could pick up a few things for the journey. They headed there, and Niay changed into more suitable travelling clothes than his priest’s robe and secured his Whip around his waist. Leaving the room, they encountered Niay’s best friend, Ken, who wanted to say goodbye. Having heard from the Abbess that Niay was venturing into the Tellah Forest and the Opal Mountains, Ken gave Niay his beloved hammer, which would certainly come in useful amidst the rockfalls and crowded tunnels of the Opal Mountains.

   It was time to find Agatha.

Spectrum: Chapter One 4/5

   It wasn’t too far from here to the Royal City of Mandala, and Seles and Clara made their way there with little trouble. Despite her difficult personality, Seles found his journey much easier with Clara there to assist him; she soon revealed that her Magical Rod could fire out bursts of magical energy, which were far more powerful than they looked. The Whackoons, Piggapods, and Wood Birds were no match.

   Mandala was a large, glittering marvel of architecture, overflowing with flying buttresses, stained-glass windows, and delicate spires. It was truly a lovely place. However, even this place of such beauty was not untainted by cruelty, as Seles and Clara came across a young boy being tormented by his peers just feet away from the city entrance. About to intervene, Seles was beaten to it by a woman with dark skin and golden hair who sent the bullies howling for home with one sharp reprimand. When Seles inquired, the rescued boy was happy to inform him that the woman had been Princess Pyre, the heir to the throne of Mandala.

   Although Seles asked many people around Mandala as to the whereabouts of Agatha, none could tell him anything very helpful. All of them, however, suggested that he try at the palace; the royal family was traditionally the protector and defender of Mandala, and anybody as potentially dangerous as a witch (Seles fumed to hear this, but kept silent) would certainly be under close scrutiny by the King and Queen. Several townspeople mentioned the recent wicked deeds of the Witch of the Mountain, whom Seles had never heard of.

   Entering the palace, Seles and Clara sought an audience with King Merope, ruler of Mandala. Clara presented her amnesia to the King first, and asked if there was any way he could help her return to her home kingdom. The King, however, had no idea where Clara hailed from, and informed her that he could not spare the resources it would take to find out. He was rallying together an army to go and kill the wicked Witch Agatha of the Mountain even as they spoke!

   Horrified, Seles and Clara withdrew from the audience chamber. Clara was distraught, and Seles feared for Agatha’s life. Quickly they hurried down the hall to exit the palace, but out of the shadows stepped none other than the Princess Pyre, who had been present—albeit silent—in the throne room during their speech. Pyre asked if it was true that Seles knew Agatha; it turned out that King Merope planned to lead the army after the Wicked Witch himself despite his age, and Pyre was extremely concerned for his safety. When she learned that Seles was the foster son of the Good Witch of the Woods, who would vouch for Agatha’s purity of spirit, Pyre decided that she would accompany Seles to Agatha’s home in the Opal Mountains in an attempt to stop her diabolical schemes peacefully before Merope would be forced to end things with violence.

   Pyre had armed herself with a sword and a pair of brass knuckles before ambushing Seles; she most kindly offered Seles and Clara the use of them if they pleased, as she certainly couldn’t use both of them at once. When they visited the Mandalan stores, the shopkeepers were horrified at the idea of taking money offered by Pyre, offering their goods at half-price only under strict duress from Pyre herself.

    Weapons and discounts were not all that Pyre brought to the table, however. She also had a Map of the World, with which she pointed out the Opal Mountains, which were accessible through the Tellah Forest. Just outside of the Tellah Forest—at the edge of the plains that surrounded Mandala—was a monastery known as the Sanctuary at which they would be able to rest before tackling the forest, the mountains, and Agatha.

   After taking a rest at the inn in Mandala (for free, courtesy of Pyre,) the trio headed across the plains towards the Sanctuary.

Spectrum: Chapter One 3/5

   As he was trekking towards Mandala, Seles had to make his way through the Ringcon Caves, which were the only passage through the Twilight Mountains—an offshoot of the Sunset Mountains, which nobody had ever before crossed over alive.

   Although very mazy and wet, the only real danger of the Ringcon Caves was the swarm of Silverfish splashing around through the marshes inside and outside the caves. The Silverfish would indiscriminately run Seles over with their random flailings, so he was often forced to destroy them just to make sure he survived. All evidence pointed to a recent flood in the caverns; Seles couldn't imagine why so many aquatic creatures would be splashing around in these caves otherwise.

   Midway through the Ringcon Caves, Seles found that he was not the only victim of the Silverfish. A young girl clad in fantastic finery was draped unconscious across the rocky floor of one open cavern, her comatose body bounced and bludgeoned by the stampeding Silverfish. Quickly Seles leapt in to rescue her, and after beating off the Silverfish, he managed to revive her.

   The girl was not grateful, however. Thinking that Seles was trying to take advantage of her, she screamed, walloped him with a wooden rod, and ran off down a tunnel that actually led deeper into the Ringcon Caves. Horrified, Seles ran after her, entreating her to stop before she got lost or awakened anything dark and evil down in the ground—but it was too late. The girl was seized, with a piercing scream, by a massive glowing firefly.

   The Tinderfly held the squalling and fighting girl in its multiple small arms and flew around exuding heat and flames from its glowing posterior. Seles had to keep his distance and fire arrows at the creature’s head, being sure not to hit the girl held underneath its body. As it began to feel the pain of Seles’ arrows, the Tinderfly began to mix up its attack pattern, alternately making flying dashes across the cavern and using its wings to blow gouts of fire at Seles. However, Seles was determined not to lose, and with the Flower Seeds he had picked up from the Whackoons, he was able to keep himself in the fight long enough to see the Tinderfly out of it. As the Tinderfly crashed to the ground and burned in an incandescent blaze of glory, Seles managed to rescue the girl, another tuft of Kitsune Fur, and a strange wreath made of glowing, fiery leaves unlike anything Seles had ever seen before.

   Since he had saved her life, the girl reluctantly introduced herself as Clara. She couldn’t remember anything more than her name, however; a flood had recently struck the Ringcon Caves, and she had been swept up in it and deposited here. She had an acute case of amnesia. Seles rather gallantly offered to help her find her way home; Clara rather less graciously accepted the offer.

   Although Clara had her wooden rod to battle with—and Seles could attest firsthand to the punch she packed with it—Seles told Clara to stay back away from the main brunt of the battle. Just by looking at her, it was obvious that she was even less used to battle than he was, and her delicate frame—to say nothing of her highly ineffective, albeit certainly flashy, choice of clothing—just screamed monster bait. For her part, Clara was more than happy to stay back. That was one order she was glad to follow.

   The Silverfish were still bouncing around the Ringcon Caves, but after the Tinderfly, they were nothing to Seles. He bulled through them with his Axe, Clara on his heels, and made it out once again into the bright, dry sunshine.

Spectrum: Chapter One 2/5

   Melise’s cottage was not far from the site of the battle with the Brambler, and Seles easily found his way back after his victory. Melise was pleased to see him back so early, but when she saw the arrows of his quiver, she knew exactly what had happened.

   The arrow in the tree had been an arrow of intense evil fired into this forest a long time ago. Melise lived in this forest for the express reason of using her magical abilities to keep the arrow sealed and its dark magic impotent. By touching it, Seles had given the evil magic of the arrow a center and allowed it to escape the confinement of Melise’s power. The new black mark on his chest was a physical symbol of the evil magic’s possession.

   There was only one thing to do. Removing her magic from the site to help Seles would free the creatures of the arrow’s energy to wreak havoc in the world. It would take another witch’s magic to free Seles; Melise told him that he had to find her old friend Agatha, who lived in the Royal City of Mandala. She also recognized the fur Seles had found after defeating the Brambler: it was Kitsune Fur, dropped by one of the Seven Kitsune Gods who had created the world at the beginning of time. This fur was intensely magical and the strongest substance known to man—it would surely come in useful.

   Melise could not leave the Lattice Forest, even in order to escort her foster son safely to Mandala, but she gave him his wood-chopping Axe to help protect him on his journey, along with two helpful Bandages and her secret savings of 80 Aurum.

   Seles bade a quick farewell to Melise, promising he would soon return safely, and left her cottage. He traveled safely to the edge of the Lattice Forest, protected by Melise’s magic, but once he left the forest, he found himself again a target of monsters. He wondered, as he frantically fought off more Whackoons and some bouncy Piggapods, whether the influence of the dark arrow was causing this unmitigated hostility he was encountering. He rather feared it might be.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spectrum: Chapter One: The Dark Arrow, The Mysterious Girl, and The Royal City

   He had been exiled from his home village as a newborn child, left in the woods by fearful parents who saw the silver birthmark over his heart as a sign that he was tainted by the powers of the Sea. He had been found, however, by Melise, the Witch of the Woods, who brought him to her small cottage hidden deep within the Lattice Forest at the foot of the Sunset Mountains and raised him as her own. He had been named Seles by the good Witch, and he had been raised as one with the powers of nature; growing with, learning of, and always respecting the creatures of the forest.

   As he grew older, however, he became more and more inquisitive and overly confident in his own abilities. It was his constantly growing confidence that provoked him one day to enter the part of the wood he was forbidden to go.

   He quickly learned why he was forbidden to travel this area of the forest when a rampaging Oroax appeared and tried to gore him. He leapt about, dodging its charges and shooting arrows from his quiver at it—and although he managed to chase the creature away, it took all but his very last arrow to do so. He hesitated, not feeling safe unarmed, but curiosity won over caution, and he continued onward.

   Exploring boldly through the low-hanging foliage, he came across a most unusual sight; a dark arrow lodged into the trunk of a venerable old tree. A stream of sap bled sluggishly from the bark in a manner disturbingly similar to blood; feeling the old tree’s pain, Seles walked up to the tree and tugged the arrow out.

   In a flash of dark light the arrow disappeared, and Seles was surrounded in a dark miasma. Something hit his birthmark with a powerful force, and, repelled, swirled around and plunged into the right side of his chest instead with a sharp, stabbing pain. The miasma expanded in a whorl of indigo light, and suddenly a throng of Whackoons exploded from the bleeding hole in the tree.

   Reaching for his last arrow, fully expecting to die at the sharp-clawed hands of the Whackoons, Seles was astounded to find that his quiver was suddenly filled with arrows of silver and black. With one smooth movement, he drew and fired at a Whackoon.

   Although the Whackoons were great in number and could do great damage with their sharp little nails, they were not particularly hardy creatures, and it only took two well-aimed arrows to take one out of commission. Seles ran from the leaping Whackoons, firing as he went, and managed to make it away from the clearing of the bleeding tree.

   As was the nature of Whackoons, they had a tendency to have small collections of various odd objects on their person, and sometimes Seles managed to salvage a few of the Whackoons’ treasures after their defeat. Most of this treasure was spare Aurum the Whackoons had stolen from streets and villagers, but a few Whackoons possessed some medicinal Flower Seeds that were highly nutritious (as well as delicious). One Whackoon even had a Lucky Whackoon Paw stolen from some other Whackoon; Seles decided to keep this, hoping it might bring him some luck.

   If it was supposed to, it failed, because as Seles tried desperately to find his way back to Melise’s, he began to encounter new creatures. The Wood Bird was actually made out of wood, and it slapped Seles around with its sharp-edged wings; the Fanged Caterpillar would pop out of the trees at unexpected moments and latch onto Seles with its rows of teeth. Seles had never seen so many unusual and hostile creatures in one place before!

   As he defeated enemy after enemy, he began to grow experienced in the art of war. Having rarely used his arrows with the intent to kill before, he was unskilled at battle; every encounter honed his strength and accuracy to new levels of power.

   It was fortunate that this occurred, because just as Seles saw the trees of the deep forest begin to thin, he was attacked by an enormous growth of thorny vines. The Brambler was a tough opponent that lashed Seles with its long appendages and tried to drag him into its thorny maw; however, Seles recognized the mouth as the weak point and filled it with arrows. It was a difficult fight, but Seles finally emerged victorious, carrying away from the battle a colorful tuft of mysterious fur.

Spectrum: Introduction

Spectrum is a tale, not of swords and sorcery, but of arrows, of castles, of love and hate and giant robots, of silver fish and talking cats, of human foxes and demon blacksmiths and foundling children lost in the woods. My concept of its battle system is something of a cross between Secret of Mana, Brave Fencer Musashi, and Bayonetta, with the four playable party members participating in real-time battles with monsters without a separate battle screen or background. Piggybacking off of this, I decided while writing its design to present it in the same format as was used by the venerable Secret of Mana game guide: that of a novel. So read on and enjoy snatches of the story of Spectrum, told in a style both bold and elegant, and imagine the game that would result from its invention.

GameFAQs Game FAQ: Secret of Mana Spell Guide

Hey everybody! So, a while back I wrote a guide on GameFAQs for the SNES game "Secret of Mana." It's a guide detailing the various spells in the game, their effects, and their uses. Since I wrote it and all, here! I thought I would attach it to this blog for posterity.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Final Fantasy 19: Prelude: Leaving the Abbey

Location: White Abbey
Party members: Badger, Ultimecia
Opponents: None
Items: Elixir, Elixir, Megalixir
BGM: Final Fantasy I Town Theme

As most of you probably already know, Ultimecia is a powerful Sorceress from the distant future who is attempting to compress all of time and space so that she may recreate the world for the purpose of eliminating anti-Sorceress prejudice. Oddly enough, the goal of destroying assassins, the space/time continuum, and Final Fantasy X-2 appeals to Badger greatly, and he eagerly pledges his assistance to the Sorceress. Ultimecia is dubious at first, but impressed by his fighting skills and somewhat flattered by his persistence, she finally grants him a portion of her Sorceress Power and declares him her Sorceress Knight.

The fighting and magical pyrotechnics has drawn the attention of the other White Mages of the Abbey, of course, and - being much less violent than Badger - they have gone to fetch the Mother Superior: Abbess White Mage. (Yes, she's a White Mage named White Mage. Got a problem with that?) Abbess White Mage is quite distressed at the destruction wrought in the flower gardens, but when Ultimecia explains the state of the future to her, she is outright appalled. Badger's bend for violence is repugnant to White Mage, but Ultimecia's cause is just, which causes White Mage to suffer a long internal monologue that ends with her kicking Badger in the shin. (8-Bit Theater readers may enjoy this more than others.)

Inner conflict resolved through precision violence, White Mage endorses Badger's temporary departure from the White Abbey for the purpose of saving the world. Cool.

Preparation: Eh, nothing needs to be changed for now. To recap, Badger should be level 2 and possess only the Cure spell. Ultimecia should be level 5 and possess Curaja, Thundaja, and Slowga.

You now have free rein to explore the White Abbey before leaving to embark on your adventure of equality and salvation (read: lots of blowing crap up). Keep in mind that you may always return to the White Abbey and talk to any of the White Mage acolytes to receive free healing. Also be sure to check every clock in the Abbey, as each and every one contains an Elixir. For that matter, be sure to check every clock you encounter throughout the entire game, as every clock you ever see (for obscure reasons probably only clear to FFVI fans) will have an Elixir secreted inside. In fact, check the bell tower to cue a short scene involving precisely this phenomenon that results in you obtaining an extremely valuable Megalixir.

Leave the White Abbey and you will find yourself on the world map. Destination: Cornelia.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Final Fantasy 19: BOSS: Azure Highwind, Mark I

Azure Highwind
Level: 8, HP: 520, MP: 120
Rewards: Hi-Potion (always)
Weakness: Poison
Special: !Jump : Azure becomes temporarily untargetable; Attack x2
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Attack, !Jump
Sketch: Attack, Attack
Blue Magic: None
Draw Spell: Thundaja

Level: 4, HP: 260, MP: 2
Rewards: Ether (always)
Strong: Thunder, Wind, Resists: Earth
Special: !Bronze Breath : Earth-elemental attack on all; Attack x1
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Attack, !Bronze Breath, Slow
Sketch: Slow, !Bronze Breath
Blue Magic: None
Draw Spell: Slowga

BGM: Final Fantasy I Boss Theme A

This battle is quite simple. Badger has a hammer, Ultimecia has a giant axe. Badger has Cure, Ultimecia has Curaja. At the start of the fight, Ultimecia realizes that she should use her Draw skill on Azure, and if you do so, she will have Thundaja as well. Ultimecia only has enough MP to cast Thundaja twice, but one cast should be enough to put both Azure and Saturnos on their last legs.

Assuming you don't Draw Thundaja for some reason, or decide not to cast it, you might actually see the hunting pair's attacks. Azure attacks physically and has a chance of using !Jump every third turn as long as Saturnos is still alive. Saturnos' !Bronze Breath hits both Badger and Ultimecia, but for pitiful damage; on turns where he doesn't use it, he'll physically attack, which is nothing to worry about, or try to cast Slow, which he doesn't have enough MP for.

This battle is an introduction to the battle system and nothing more. Badger can either Attack or Sketch, it makes little difference. After Ultimecia has unleashed Thundaja against the duo, it's all over but the shouting.

Final Fantasy 19: CHARACTER: Ultimecia

"Most powerful Sorceress ever to live, she strives to save the world. Unfortunately, that involves destroying it."

Strength 26
Speed 34
Stamina 22
Magic 44
Attack 11
Defense 35
Evasion 13 %
Magic Defense 30
Magic Evasion 9 %

Class: Sorceress
Equipment: Throwing Weapons

Starting equipment:
R-Hand Rising Sun
L-Hand Bronze Bangle
Head   Hairpin
Body   Cotton Robe

Age: None of your business
Birthdate: September 9
Blood Type: AB
Hometown: Neo-Centra
Treasure: Her arcane tattoos
Likes: Perfumes and incense
Dislikes: Prejudice and bigotry
Often paints landscapes.
Ending Credits Theme: Defying Gravity

Ultimecia is the last Sorceress alive. Having suffered from discrimination and terrible prejudice ever since inheriting the Sorceress Power, Ultimecia plans to compress all of time and space together into a single point. By using her Sorceress Power to make herself the focus of that point, Ultimecia can absorb and recreate the universe as we know it, eliminating pain, prejudice, and, hopefully, Final Fantasy X-2. However, pulling Time Compression off won't be easy. Ultimecia must "take hold" of time from two different eras using the Junction Machine Ellone in order to succeed, and time-traveling Sorceress Hunters are following her every move. On top of that, the god Chaos just kind of decides to summon Ultimecia to a Final Fantasy free-for-all, pitting her against heroes and villains from all over the place for no apparent reason. What's a poor time-stopping Sorceress to do? Why, place her faith (and a small portion of her Sorceress Power) into a bloodthirsty badger, of course.

- Ultimecia enjoys artistic pursuits, such as painting, sewing, and jewelry-making.
- Ultimecia's tattoos are in memoriam; one for each Sorceress killed in the Great Cleansing after Rinoa Heartilly's death.
- Ultimecia does NOT have an accent. That's Phoenix's fault.

Desperation Attack: Time Stop
Ultimecia stops a moment in time, freezing all of her enemies in place. As long as Time Stop is active, neither Ultimecia nor any enemies can take any action. Time Stop lasts for eight actions taken by your party.

Special Skill: Draw
Unlike Badger and Shiba, who learn their White and Black Magic by gaining levels, Ultimecia must use her Draw skill to steal spells from her opponents. Ultimecia's Draw ability absorbs a small amount of HP and MP from its target, but in addition to this, if that target's soul possesses a power that Ultimecia does not yet know, then she seizes it for her own and may cast it ever after. For example, using Draw on a Pollensalta will teach Ultimecia the Arise spell.

Note that Ultimecia will NEVER be able to Draw a spell from an undead enemy, as the absorption effect of the Drawing will be reversed. If you Draw from an undead enemy, all that will happen is Ultimecia will lose some HP and MP.

Special Skill: Sorceress Magic
Firaja, Immense fire damage on all
Blizzaja, Immense ice damage on all
Thundaja, Immense thunder damage on all
Waterja, Immense water damage on all
Aeroja, Immense wind damage on all
Quakeja, Immense earth damage on all
Darkja, Immense dark damage on all
Apocalypse, Immense non-elemental damage on all
Curaja, Restores all allies to full HP
Dispel, Removes all positive statuses from one
Dispelga, Removes all positive statuses from all
Arise, Revives fallen ally to full HP
Holy, Large holy damage to one
Bioga, Large damage; causes Poison, Petrify/ Confuse/ Death
Blindga, Inflicts Blind on all
Sleepga, Inflicts Sleep on all
Silencega, Inflicts Silence on all
Confuga, Inflicts Confuse on all
Toadga, Inflicts Imp on all
Vanishga, Grants Vanish to all
Floatga, Grants Float to all
Protectga, Grants Protect to all
Shellga, Grants Shell to all
Hastega, Grants Haste to all
Slowga, Inflicts Slow on all
Stop, Inflicts Stop
Reflect, Grants Reflect

Final Fantasy 19: CHARACTER: Badger

"Sworn into the power of Holy, granted the power of Hyne, he will defend Ultimecia with his life."

Strength 34
Speed 34
Stamina 31
Magic 36
Attack 16
Defense 44
Evasion 7 %
Magic Defense 31
Magic Evasion 9 %

Class: White Mage
Equipment: Hammers

Starting equipment:
R-Hand Hammer
L-Hand N/A
Head   Collar
Body   Cotton Robe

Age: 4
Birthdate: September 19
Blood Type: O
Hometown: Ravenna, Cornelia
Treasure: His beloved hammer
Likes: Carrots
Dislikes: Stupid people
Often makes lists of ways to destroy the world.
Ending Credits Theme: All I Really Want

Bitingly sarcastic, slow but sagacious, and prone to sudden homicidal urges, Badger constantly finds himself at odds with his White Mage's Oath, which forbids him from killing except to promote the greater good. Fortunately, Badger is intelligent enough to find all sorts of loopholes to squeeze his genocidal tendencies through said Oath; these loopholes range from using chocolate as a murder weapon (because chocolate is yummy and thus death by chocolate is a good thing) to killing Phoenix for the greater good of the world (because of her stupidity) to his biggest exploitation of all: assisting Ultimecia in her goal of Time Compression, which he justifies because this will surely destroy Final Fantasy X-2, which is, to him, a great enough good to warrant destroying the world. In reality, of course, Badger just wants to destroy things without feeling bad about it.

Despite his destructive hobbies, Badger is not unsuited to be a hero, as he always enjoys helping people in trouble (because if you're helping one person, you're bound to be screwing another one somewhere) and is genuinely loyal to those he cares about. He is fanatically devoted to Ultimecia, who has given him carte blanche to indulge his violent side, but also develops a deep connection to Ferret, Phoenix, and especially Shiba, whom he falls desperately in love with (after Shiba blows up a city). When Edea takes control of Ultimecia and threatens everything Badger holds dear, he throws himself wholeheartedly into saving the world, even though his motive for doing so is primarily so he can destroy all of it himself afterward.

- Badger's mother, Diane, is a Goth.
- Badger's father is a pirate who left Diane in order to sail the seven seas.
- Badger decided to become a White Mage because he read that Holy was a spell of great destruction in the White Magic Manual. Remember to always read the ENTIRE manual before you stake your entire future on a career, kids!
- Although Badger can use Sketch owing to his innate magical prowess, he can't draw to save his life.

Desperation Attack: Grammatical Nazism
Badger goes berserk on one enemy with a series of hammerstrikes. This attack deals extra damage if the target has used a misspelled attack during the battle.

Special Skill: White Magic
Badger learns spells of the school of White Magic by gaining levels.

Cure, Lv 1, Small HP recovery
Dia, Lv 3, Medium holy damage to one undead enemy
Compression, Lv 5, Small non-elemental damage to one; may cause Mini
Cura, Lv 7, Medium HP recovery
Raise, Lv 10, Revives fallen ally to 25% HP
Esuna, Lv 12, Cures all negative statuses
Holy Fire, Lv 13, Medium holy damage to one
Vanish, Lv 15, Grants Vanish
Regen, Lv 18, Grants Regen
Diara, Lv 20, Large holy damage to all undead enemies
Curaga, Lv 24, Large HP recovery
Dispel, Lv 25, Removes all positive statuses from one
Diaga, Lv 30, Instant death to all undead enemies
Holy, Lv 33, Large holy damage to one
Arise, Lv 38, Revives fallen ally to full HP

Special Skill: Sketch
Final Fantasy VI veterans are probably shuddering in revulsion to be playing a game where the main character possesses that dreaded skill known as Sketch. However, although FFVI's Sketch was both bugged and badly designed, Badger's version is a skill worth using. Put simply, it takes Badger's Strength or Magic and uses that statistic to power one of the two attacks programmed under the target. Although Sketch is unpredictable, it is a mostly reliable source of damage, as it will at worst be identical to a normal physical attack and never costs any MP. In the middle part of the game, when Badger really needs to save his MP for healing, Sketch is a wonderful way for the angry animal to dish out some damage.

Final Fantasy 19: Prelude: The Sorceress Appears

Location: White Abbey
Party members: Badger, Ultimecia
Opponents: None
BGM: Final Fantasy 1 Town Theme

Once upon a time that may or may not have been long ago and far away, there was a perfectly ordinary badger born to a perfectly ordinary badger family who was initiated into the Order of the White Magi. Unfortunately for this badger, he had only read the “Holy is the biggest attack spell EVAR ZOMG” portion of the White Mage’s Manual, and didn’t realize until it was too late that by swearing the White Mage’s Oath, he was promising to never again cause death, destruction, or devastation to others.

This made our badger extremely depressed.

At any rate, Badger decided to make the best of a bad job and dedicated himself to learning White Magic with vigor in order to make his gothic mother proud. All went according to peaceful White Magic plan until one day when the Sorceress Ultimecia fell out of a time/space warp right into the White Abbey flower gardens, pursued by a Sorceress Hunter by the name of Azure Highwind.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Final Fantasy 19: Introduction

Final Fantasy XIX is the tale of a badger, a ferret, a phoenix (or at least a red canary,) and a shiba-inu, who band together to protect the great Sorceress Ultimecia as she attempts to save the world (and destroy Final Fantasy X-2) through Time Compression. But it won't be easy. On their journey, they encounter the "villainous" Society To Underhandedly Perpetrate Illegal Doings (aka STUPID,) a whole coalition of wicked Sorceress Hunters (such as the tenacious Azure Highwind,) and many heroes and villains from other Final Fantasies as they hop through time and space. Badger, Ferret, Phoenix, and Shiba face the distressed Owl Aye, the diabolical Kitty, and the demented WOLF as they try to protect Ultimecia, save the Princess Peahen, and destroy as many towns as they can get away with. Simultaneously, Ultimecia faces duress from the god of chaos, possession by a long-dead Sorceress, and catfights with a silver-haired momma's boy. With all this trouble and drama standing in their way, how can Badger and Ultimecia ever bring about the destruction of the world? Well, they don't know, but as long as they have really big hammers, lethal dessert foods, lots of grammatical nazism, and the Choo-Choo to Heck on their side, they're going to keep on trying.