Incidentally, Square's refusal to give the world a English release made this one of the first games ever to get a full fan translation. Fortunately I don't need it though as Square eventually did give English speakers their own version of the game a decade later on the PlayStation.
Actually damn, now I want to see a big budget sci-fi action thriller with music by Nobuo Uematsu. Hollywood, steal my idea!
FF8's level, but a clear step above FF4 and FF7.
Not that it matters much in the end. I get the feeling somehow that the characters in this intro are based on the original concept art and so any resemblance to in-game persons, living or dead, will be purely coincidental.
Anyway the King is going off to the Wind Shrine as its seems that the wind has gone a bit wonky lately and may need fixing. He commands his daughter to stay put and not try to follow him, and then flies from the top of the tower on the back of a dragon. So I guess she either has her own dragon somewhere or he's worried she'll take a running leap.
Crap, there's nothing actually up here but a dead end. I suppose civilisation must be on the other side of the meteor impact crater. I can't even fight any random battles here as he won't get off the chocobo. Still, being railroaded into investigating a rock is much much better than being stuck inside a bloody maze of a castle, like at the start of Final Fantasy 4.
I suppose I'll go do what he wants and check out the crash site then.
Oh and I'm playing as ? apparently: the main with no (default) name. Though I'm sure I can come up with something for him.
Hey, I guess the princess actually did try following the King after all, on foot. Well I wish her the best of luck with that save the world quest she'll inevitably end up roped into, but it's none of my business!
BUT THEN, A FEW MINUTES LATER.
I suppose playing Han Solo to her Princess Leia ain't so bad, though I'm not so happy about leaving my chocobo outside this cave. "Wait here" he says, as if he'll only be in there five minutes. The poor poor creature.
Wait, if I'm Han Solo, does that mean Boko is my Chewbacca or my Millennium Falcon? Or both?
After a few random battles the cave led us straight into a pirate hideout, which Galuf sees as a good thing. After all, if they're pirates, they must have a boat to steal, right? What could possibly go wrong with that plan?
TWO MINUTES LATER.
By the way, I like how they've added some expressions to the characters. They're always laughing or freaking out and it's nice to play as someone who isn't stoic or miserable for once. Especially after FF4's Cecil, who seemed like he was ready to throw himself off the first bridge I came across.
Fortunately Faris, the pirate captain, has a sudden change of heart and he decides to skip the ransom and take us all to the Wind Shrine instead. On a sail boat. When there's no wind.
Reina seems overly shocked by this for someone who's family keeps a pet dragon.
A SHORT UNEVENTFUL TRIP ACROSS A LAKE LATER.
Oh by the way, Faris's overly piraty manner of speech is found exclusively in the PlayStation Final Fantasy Anthology localization. He talks perfectly normally in the Japanese version.
The GBA version also has character portraits, which don't even try to match the actual sprites in the slightest. Different hairstyles, different colours, and Galuf doesn't even have a beard in his picture! You know, I don't think the people who ported this across had a great deal of respect for the sprite art in the game. I get the feeling they'd have changed all the sprites to match the concept art exactly if they had the time and money to spare.
A FEW RANDOM ENCOUNTERS LATER.
BUT THEN, AFTER OUR GLORIOUS VICTORY.
Well that ain't no good, that means this world will be without wind forever! Still, on the bright side it turns out that we're the chosen ones (big surprise) and we can use the power of the crystal to get new character classes (just like in Final Fantasy 3).
Plus every character has their own unique sprite for each class and I can switch between classes as much as I like, whenever I feel like. It even comes with its own tutorial to explain how it all works. Still waiting for the part where this becomes too inaccessible for average gamers.
Final Fantasy 1 now that I think about it.
The moral of the story is, don't rely on crystals to power your fundamental forces of nature. They're either going to go bad, get stolen by a miserable Dark Knight, or explode, and then your world is pretty much screwed.
SOME NPC INTERROGATION LATER.
Anyway I know where I'm going now. To the ship!
I'm getting the feeling I'm not quite ready to go sailing into adventure yet. After this fight I'm sailing back to town to bring Faris back from the dead, then I'm doing a tiny bit of grinding. Hopefully I'll get a better handle on how these job abilities work while I'm at it. I'm sure that second crystal can wait a couple more minutes.
Alright I think I'm ready now. Ready for adventure! Time to get back on my boat and go save the next crystal.
Well now we are fucked. We're adrift in the middle of a lake miles from the shore with no wind, and we forgot to pack any oars. Even if we could swim all the way to land from here (and this is the overworld we're on now, so its much further away than it looks) we're surrounded by cliffs.
We have to make it through a few submerged decks along the way, but it's fine, we're good with water. I mean it doesn't seem like any of my team can swim, but it's not an issue as they can all walk underwater, holding their breath indefinitely. Hang on, just gotta test that actually...
TWENTY MINUTES LATER.
Yep it seems like it's impossible to drown these people. Which is good, because this level seems to be going on for a while and there's even underwater fights down here. Square have actually discovered the secret to making a bearable underwater level: make it exactly the same as a regular level and then stick a water effect on top. Suits me fine, as I'd rather explore a ship graveyard than another bloody cave.
You know, I've played FF games that keep a steady party, and FF games that mix the team up, and I definitely think I prefer a consistent group like this. I can happily develop my team and follow their story without worrying that it's going to drop a Spoony Bard into the squad or take away my heavy hitter on a whim.
Anyway I've hit dry land at last, so I can resume my search for the second crystal.
SOME ADVENTURING LATER.
If you're wondering why Reina is having a nap, she noticed that the dragon was ill and decided to wade through poisonous plants to get it a cure. Damn, if only someone had remembered that the entire party has fire magic, then they could have burned a safe path through.
Fortunately the dragon has antidote powers and is able to save her, so everything worked out in the end. Wait a second, we ALL have antidote magic and I've actually had to use it after walking over these plants in gameplay earlier and... oh who even gives a shit, I have a DRAGON now!
Though I've just realised where I can get to now.
AND SO WE FLEW BACK TO THE PIRATE CAVE.
And yes I realise that I just abandoned my dragon outside the very same cave entrance to go look for the chocobo, but the difference here is that this time I really will be back out in five minutes.
I really do appreciate the that game didn't pressure me to come here (yet), it just provided me with the option. But yeah I should really go sort out that crystal now.
LATER, IN THE TOWN NEXT TO THE WATER CRYSTAL SHRINE.
Still, sounds cool to me. I'll grab the lot. Fortunately I only need to buy each of these only once to have it available for all my characters.
Oh by the way, if you've been wondering why I've had Reina as my lead character for half the game, it's because... well, she is isn't she? She's definitely had more of a claim to being the main character than Butz so far, seeing as she's got a goal, motivation, plus a mysterious connection to Faris she's trying to uncover, and Butz is basically just tagging along because he wants to bed half the team.
A FEW FIGHTS LATER, MY LONG JOURNEY IS AT AN END AS I FINALLY REACH THE CHAMBER CONTAINING THE SECOND CRYSTAL!
Wait, if the destruction of the Wind Crystal ended all wind, does that mean that breaking the Water Crystal has just ended the existence of water?
Well it's fine, they can survive underwater indefinitely right? So all they have to do is hike 30 miles on the sea bed.
So what did I think about Final Fantasy V? Well the story feels like a tired retread of first four games, the characters aren't overly compelling, and I won most fights by just holding down a button. On the other hand it's mercifully free of frustrations, the settings have been a little more interesting than usual, and there's been no need for me to grind so far. Well not to win fights anyway. Instead I needed to grind job points to satisfy my craving for new abilities. Weirdly it seems like the job system is the part that's grabbed my attention more than anything, as it's gotten me curious to see what sorts of hybrid super-classes I could create if I just got a few more job levels..
Plus I just can't dislike a game that has a bat cat in it.
Comments are welcome by the way, in case you were wondering. The comment box isn't just there in case of emergencies.