FFXII: My Map of The Great Crystal

“I’ve heard of some people trying to map out the Great Crystal during their XII playthroughs so as not to keep getting lost, but such a task would be long and frustrating and definitely not worth the trouble.”

Livvyplaysfinalfantasy during her current insightful FFXII playthrough

screencap Giruvegan Great Crystal

Yes, the in-game map is nearly useless. However, notice “A Vikaari Bhrum” at top. It tells you exactly where you are, if only SOMEONE would make a map…

I love making maps, and I took Livvy’s comment as a challenge. Here’s the fruits of a week’s labor.

I’ve divided my Giruvegan Great Crystal map into two parts, one for the lower levels which you have to traverse for the plot, one for the upper levels that masochists explore for valuable and unique items and prey, including Excalibur, Ultima and Omega (Mark XII).

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Final Fantasy VII, Ep. 10: Let’s Do the Mind Screw Again

“The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths.” ~ Aleksandr Pushkin

In the most recent two episodes, Cloud has given Sephiroth the Black Materia, punched Aeris while possessed, nearly cut her in two while possessed, and stood there like a man frozen in corbomite while Sephiroth performed Death From Above.

Let’s pause for a moment to celebrate the hoary Final Fantasy tradition of playing into enemy hands.

I'm sorry I deceived even you, Leo

But now that we’ve handed Sephiroth the Black Materia on a platter and let Aeris die, there’s no way we could screw up anything else, is there? I mean, it’s not like we could give him the Black Materia again, right? Ahahaha.

Well then. While Cloud was angsting over Aeris’ bloodless body, Sephiroth idly mentioned his upcoming journey to the Northern Crater. Naturally, we must accept this veiled invitation.

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Final Fantasy VII Recap, Ep VIII: Saucer Date and Pyramid Power

Ragtag party assembled, it’s time to break into the Temple of the Ancients. But first, we need a key to unlock the Path of Plot Advancement.

We drag our reluctant tails back to the Gold Saucer. Speaking of which, I missed a spiffy FMV during our first visit, when I was trying to take Aeris around for a date. Check out the Gondola ride starting around 11:00.

Sorry, Aeris. Let’s pretend my Cloud took you on that date earlier, okay? You’re allowed to call me cheesebrain.

All right, back in the present…

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Final Fantasy VII Recap, Ep VII: Rocket Science and Ninja Hijinks

Last time on Let’s Play Final Fantasy VII, we picked up a ninja in a random encounter and stuffed her in a Bag of Holding, cruelly refused to tell Zack’s parents what happened to him, visited Nanaki’s people and had our hearts wrenched, visited the hometown of Tifa and Cloud and had our heebies jeebied, and picked up one of Hojo’s lab experiments taking a nap in a casket. (As opposed to Morgan Freeman’s Vincent taking a bath in a casket.)

Then we headed into the mountains north of Nibelheim where—

Use Trine on this
AUUUGH I haven’t saved in an hour blammmity blam blam flail flail hack slash bite maul… oh. Oops. There was a really powerful blue magic spell that we could’ve learned from this thing, wasn’t there?

Moving right along…

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Final Fantasy VII Recap, Ep VI: Gongaga to Nibelheim

So, last time on Let’s Play the Most Famous Final Fantasy Ever, we dorked around in a soldier’s uniform, stuffed Barret into a sailor suit, got shafted at the Gold Saucer, and adopted a self-described “Fortune-telling machine” in the shape of Felix the Cat riding a blancmange. Also, Barret taught us that the best way to deal with catastrophic loss is to claim all the blame so that you can pretend you had some control over the situation.

The most recent “Sephiroth went thataway” npc told us to seek Gongaga. Or maybe Dio thought we’d “gone gaga” when he saw we’d let Caith Sith into the party. En route, we’re pounced by a leggy girl with a ginormous throwing star. Because, up until FFVIII or so, Everything Is Better with Ninjas.

Bets on whether her fireball-chucking, spark-casting abilities will disappear once we recruit her?

Yuffie random encounter

(I was trying to pick HER pocket. Silly me. She’s the thief.)

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Final Fantasy VII Ep. V: Seaside Resorts and Gold Saucers

Okay, Nibelheim Backstory Dump over. Now we can explore the world map. Guided by random npcs saying “a man in a black cape went thataway,” we pack our bento boxes and strike out across the Midgar Marshes.

Oh look, a planarian! They have the cutest woogly googly eyes.

Midgar Zolom under marshes

Uh oh… it seems…hungry?

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FF7 Recap, Ep. IV: The Nibelheim Flashback

Woo hoo! It’s time to head out of town and tackle the world map. A whole new wooooorld! A new enchaaanting point of v… good gods, what is this trash heap? Oh, right, Midgar.

Cloud on the world map

Actually, before we can start gadding about, we must egress the Shinra building where I left Cloud hanging. (Or was that Rufus?)

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FFVII Recap, Ep. III: Fun Storming the Castle

Last time, we psychoanalyzed the most blockheaded hero in the history of gaming…

…and put him through his paces as a cross-dresser and champion of put-upon sex workers (in which task he failed miserably, since we left Don Corneo alive with his family jewels intact. Phooey).

Reluctantly, I must set Wall Market frivolity aside and get back to saving the Planet.

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Fixing Game Freeze in FF7 Kalm Flashback on PCSXR for Mac

I ran into a glitch playing Final Fantasy VII on my Mac Playstation emulator. I found a fix!

Cause: The instructions for PCSXR tell us to load a pack of BIOS into the BIOS folder. This is wrong. There should only be one BIOS in there.

Fix:

  1. Create a spare folder on your desktop.
  2. Go to Folder  ~/Library/Application Support/PCSXR/Bios
  3. Drag all the BIOS out of that folder into the spare folder on your desktop.
  4. Then select and drag SCPH1001.BIN back into the PCSXR/BIOS folder.

Before fix: FF7 freezes at the end of Sephiroth’s battle with the dragon during the flashback to Cloud’s past, right after this:

sephiroth fighting the dragon in nibelheim

After fix: there’s a looong black screen after the battle, then the game pops back to the inn in Kalm:

Cloud: Sephiroth's strength is unreal. He is far stronger in reality than any story you might have heard about him.

My other, less-desirable solution was to pick up a saved game file from here shortly after the glitch, but then I’d lose my limits and overleveled party.

I still have a working PS2 and a back-compatible PS3 that plays the game discs. If all else failed, I was just going to go back to the PS3. But emulating on my Mac allows for screencaps.