Let’s Play Final Fantasy X: Intro

Final Fantasy X HD Splash ScreenWoo hoo! My goal of playing all the Final Fantasy games before FFX HD was released has failed spectacularly! I had the game on preorder and started a half-arsed Let’s Play FFX  on Tumblr, but what I really want to do is post a tidied-up “director’s cut” here. Because, while it’s not my first Final Fantasy, FFX remains my favorite.

Yep, I’m the lunatic who transcribed the entire game script because there’s so much that Yuna’s party never sees.

Do you love Blitzball Kid? Do you want to know why that paparazzi in the blue sweater kept photographing Yuna? Are you curious what Kinoc and Seymour were really up to behind the scenes? Curious what the inscriptions on temple walls and Al Bhed shop signs mean? You’ve come to the right place. Please allow me to channel my inner Maechen for you.

Alas, one thing I can’t do is screengrab my PS3, so I’m gonna have to emulate FFX original for my own screencaps. For full HD beauty shots, check out Dansg08’s superb commentary/video PS3 walkthrough or DavetheUsher’s PS4 Playthrough. You’ve probably played the HD version anyway, so there’s no need for me to remind you how pretty it is.

Besides, while the remaster has given the backdrops of Spira a glorious makeover, some of the characters have suffered from their plastic surgery (poor Wakka). FFX just isn’t the same without duckface Tidus, is it?

Tidus looking like a doge

Thought not.

P.S. If you spoil the audio epilogue, I will borrow Paine’s sword and disembowel you. I’ve had most of it spoiled, and from what I’ve heard I’m not going to like it, but allow me to entertain the delusion that I still have something new to look forward to, OK?

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Final Fantasy Dimensions: A Half-Assed Playthrough

I have unfinished FFVII and FFX Let’s Plays, I haven’t gotten to Lightning Returns, I was wasting time playing Kingdom Hearts for the first time, and I’ve fallen hopelessly behind in Final Fantasy fan discussions and game commentary on  [community profile] moogle_university. My FFX novella, Love Her and Despair, is languishing with the last five chapters in a messy and forgotten state.

What a PERFECT time to start a new game playthrough!

FF Dimensions Title Screen

Zencribnotes on Tumblr inspired me to try Final Fantasy Dimensions again. It’s an iPad/Android native Final Fantasy game that came out in 2010.  When I last tackled it, I couldn’t fully appreciate how much it was a homage to the early FFs. Now, by golly, I’m going to play Final Fantasy Nostalgia Bingo, because that’s the main virtue of this game.

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Let’s Play Final Fantasy VII: Introduction

Cover art of Final Fantasy VII Playstation discWell, I’ve come to the game that launched a thousand spin-offs, FFVII. To my surprise, I’m really looking forward to replaying it again, although like VI it has some draggy bits where I’ve gotten stuck and abandoned it on previous playthroughs.

My history with VII is convoluted. It’s actually the first Final Fantasy that I ever glimpsed. At the time, I was absorbed with Marathon and Tomb Raider 2 and (especially) MYST fandom. I visited friends who were playing FFVII, and they showed me the rocket launch sequence.

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Let’s Play Final Fantasy VI, Ep. I: Hope and Free Will

I’m laaaate starting my FFVI gameblog, although I started it at the beginning of the month.

Opening FMV analysis time!

When I first started playing Final Fantasy in the VII-VIII-X era, I was mildly bemused by a series whose releases seemed at first  to have almost nothing in common but their titles and big yellow birds. As I’ve worked my way backwards, I’ve enjoyed that “click” of recognition whenever I spot recurring elements: FFXII’s glossair ring airships, the trains of FFVII and VIII, the Evil Empire (“empire bad, kingdom good,” as we first learned all the way back in FFII), and the tragic/unearthly damsel. FFVI’s mechs, however, are almost a first for the series (I say almost, since Doctor Lugae, the Hojo lookalike in FFIV, drove one in his boss battle).

It’s interesting to see how the old FF character classes of white mage, black mage, fighter, thief, ranger, ninja, summoner, monk and berserker are submerged yet remain visible beneath the surface. (Coming to the franchise so late, I was  puzzled about fans calling Tifa a monk, or Cid a dragoon, or why Kimahri was blue. Now I understand!)

Like any good opening FMV of the mature FF years, this one raises all sorts of questions about who-what-where-why that will only become intelligible on a replay.

I pause to listen to a orchestral performance of Terra’s theme, since my emulator makes it sound less than the perfect bit of music it is. Then, onward.

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Final Fantasy V Recap, Ep I: Ham and Cheese Sandwich

As usual, I’d like to start my Let’s Play Final Fantasy with (1) a link to Moogle University’s FFV write-ups which inspired my own playthrough and (2) the opening FMV from the PS1 remaster (Final Fantasy Anthology, 2003, which is what hooked me on this game despite the flatter-than-Data’s-poetry localization):


  • Dear Squeenix, when you turn Amano’s concept art into 3D, you do not have to leave their skin the color of a piece of paper.
  • It’s amazing how quickly graphics look dated, isn’t it? But Uematsu’s music still soars.
  • I adore the outrageous spines and jewels sticking out of everything, especially that pirate ship.
  • Black trenchcoat? Check. Katana? Check. Bishie badassitude? Check. Sephiroth, you are a cheap imitation of the ORIGINAL appearance of this character design. Nyah nyah. 

Now let’s start the iOS edition.

Final Fantasy V IOS splash screen

Okay! I’m not entirely happy with the stretched iOS redraws of the original character sprites. So, while I’m going to be screencapping from iOS FF5, I’ll be featuring some original-game sprites from videogamesprites.net for snark & commentary. Also, just to be even more confusing, the iOS version appends Amano’s original character portraits to speech boxes — concept art that the in-game sprite designers sometimes completely ignored!

Note: Boldface is actual game dialog, non-bold is my paraphrase, or…er…embellishments.

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Final Fantasy III: Intro Post

After two months of discovering the joys of FF games I’ve never played before, it’s back to one of my recent favorites, Final Fantasy III. I and my iPad fell in love with this game last year, thanks to the remaster graphics that melted my cynical Grinch heart and won me over with the Power of Cute.

This doesn’t happen often. I was deeply suspicious of Mr. Rogers as a child, for Valefor’s sake, just because he was a little too saccharine. However, something about this band of heroic superdeformed polygon people managed to win me over to the point that…

Final fantasy trading arts mini figures

*hangs head*

Once you start down the chibi path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

Anyway, I have never seen any particular fandom with this game, before today, when I discovered this:

by ~satsuyurami on deviantART

Which is awesome, because I always approve of obscure characters getting cosplay love. It’s obviously based on the opening FMV added to the Nintendo DS remaster a few years back:

I have to say: Luneth, Ingus, WTF? I don’t recall any particular friction between these two characters in the actual game. Guess I’d better pay more attention.

Nonetheless, I love this FMV for all the Final Fantasy Nostalgasm imagery rendered so magnficently: airship, chocobos, characters who like each other (this makes me happy), Behemoth, Aerith praying, the crystal, some of Uematsu’s glorious music,* and for once some actual costume changes, thanks to the Job System, giving us updated 3D renderings of some of FF’s original character classes: white mage, red mage, black mage, fighter. Most of all I love Arc with his nose buried in his books, and that simple image of the party doing party things in camp, which FF games seldom show.

(I will, however, boo Squeenix for giving the White Mage job to the girl. Really? Don’t you ever get tired of that? Oh, right, you finally wised up with Lightning and Fang. Sigh.)

*As a matter of fact, I first saw this FMV projected behind a live Distant Worlds concert performed by the San Diego Orchestra. Yay!

All right. I’m starting to get into recap mode when I haven’t got my recap together. Hang on, we’re in for an ADORKABLE journey!

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