The Golden Vaanity bobs gently above Zephyr, the Windward Isles, aka that very first dungeon which will later be tinged with a sense of homelike nostalgia because you can squish all the starter monsters there like bubble wrap:
We sail away, flush with the sweet taste of victory and the knowledge that we thoroughly cased the jointwhumped some baddies who thought it would be fun to use inept angels for target practice.
Where to next, Llyud? I keep wanting to call you Lloyd.
*finds official render of Llyud*
I’d quote George Takei’s favorite quote, but he’s a little young. Ahem.
He says we need to trot ourselves over to the next island to defend a giant crystal that the Judge of Wings wants to swipe.
I’m sure this quest will in no way resemble the “We Suck” segments of Final Fantasy III, IV, and V, wherein we totally failed to prevent the villains from stealing and/or smashing the Crystals of Light.
Last time, our youthful band of sky pirates cut their teeth on their first adventure by flying to mysterious islands in the sky and rescuing a tight-lipped winged chap named Llyud from some not-so-friendly sky pirates.
Revenant Wings has a simple, clever feature I wish every game had, for those of us who come back to a game six months later and…
An orange flag marks the Path of Plot Advancement on the map, and each new destination has a Mission Synopsis telling us what’s just happened and what we’re supposed to do next.
In we go, climbing up to the Fane of Gucuma Qul via a rope ladder, probably left by the “bad” sky pirates.
I like the little helipad for winged visitors. Which raises the question: why do aegyl buildings have steps? And for that matter, why does Lyud walk everywhere outside of battle? His pink friend flew away, during the brief time we saw her.
Etymology break: Confusingly, “aurum” is Latin for gold, whereas Greek “αὔρα” is “breeze, moving air, spirit.” Probably “breeze” in this case. Also, fanum is Latin for temple (fane). No clue about Gucuma Qul.
I never thought I’d get a chance to play Revenant Wings, but by golly there’s a nice open source emulator, DeSmuME, which works like a charm. (So far.) Thanks to FinalFantasyThings on Tumblr for alerting me to its existence!
So let’s jump aboard the Ivalice train, now with more Chibi.
An opening FMV picks up where FFXII left off. There’s a sweet rendition of the Final Fantasy main theme to get us in the mood:
Scrappy kids Penelo and Vaan have taken off in their glorified pod racer in pursuit of their sky pirate mentors Balthier and Fran, after they reclaimed the airship they’d left in the kids’ care.
And I warn you right now, Vaan and Penny are easily young enough to be my children, so I’m going to be Gamer Mom through this whole playthrough, cheering them on and encouraging their fridge art endeavors.
The vertical split-screen would originally have been displayed on two screens of a tiny clamshell display. I’m going to upscale the itsy bitsy 256-pixel-wide screenshots to 400 pixels for those of us with granny eyes.
Cutesy chibi graphics would have irritated me once upon a time, but I’ve graduated from world-weary cynic to second childhood, and I’m absolutely in the mood for something heartwarming instead of yet another grimdark dystopia.