Last time on Let’s Play Revenant Wings, Clan Vaanity continued the hallowed Final Fantasy tradition of letting the villain smash the vitally important thing we were supposed to protect. Oh, and Balthier supposedly died next to a Fran-shaped pile of pixels.
Unfortunately, after an End of Act One climax, there is often a lull. So I’m afraid this installment has only a brief segment of plot before Tomaj hijacks the story for airship remodeling and sidequests. I’ll warn you when we get there, in case you want to skip ahead.
The Music of Comic Relief strikes up to take our minds off our recent failure. Remember how I said Ba’Gamnan slipped away at the end of the last battle? My bad. He falls in behind the party as we exit Fane #2 with our tails between our legs. Yes, I know, he’s the one with the tail.
Outside, we are accosted by Ba’Gamnan’s bangin’ bangaa gang (Say that five times fast: the sobriety test for Ivalician speed traps).
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.
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 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!
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.
“The illusion which exalts us is dearer to us than ten thousand truths.” ~ Aleksandr Pushkin
In the most recent twoepisodes, 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.
FFVI: Open the Sealed Gate so the enemy can break in and kill/drain all the Espers and destroy the world!
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.
At long last, I’ve got all my party members together, and it’s time to take on Joker the Evil Clown!
But wait! Since a major portion of this game is devoted to rounding up and then re-rounding up a cast of fourteen, let’s get some sound bites from our assembled war band! I’ll be slipping in some wrap-up game commentary and character analysis; I hope I don’t bore you.
Whew! I got bogged down rounding up all my scattered party members — seriously, we just lived through the end of the world and everything, but did they have to be difficult and run off and join weird cults and get themselves lost on mountaintops, in the depths of monster-infested catacombs and so on? — so this playthrough is once again tardy.
Hey, it wasn’t that long since my last post.
So, last time in my Let’s Play Final Fantasy VI, the world went to Hades in a haversack. Miraculously, the crustal ruptures we saw in that exciting end-of-the-world cutscene did not result in Siberia-sized lava outpourings, a planetwide blanket of sulfuric acid fog/rain, or other Permian-Extinction-style armageddon. (Geology porn… bookmark for later!)
Instead, as this is Final Fantasy, Celes awakens in a blasted world that’s creepy and sad and fragmented. FFXIII-2 riffed on this trope again 17 years later, and the music from its Dying World fits nicely:
Before I jump in with the next segment of the walkthrough, I need to back up and reiterate something that commenter inked_compass observed about the last scene, when our scattered party reunites in Narshe: “More of the Returners talking about Terra rather than to her. Good job guys.”
It’s also true of Celes. Locke bursts in to report that Celes told him there’s an Imperial army marching on Narshe. Celes doesn’t say a word then or when Locke, Cyan and Edgar argue over whether she’s an Imperial spy:
The ex-general’s silence raises an intriguing question: Has she joined the Returners? All she’s said in-game is that she is, or was, General Celes, now “nothing but a traitor.” Those could be the words of a loyal soldier smitten with shame or sorrow at having been cast out. And Locke strikes me as the sort to assume the best of people.
Whatever Celes is thinking, I hope to see her and Terra speak up for themselves and display more autonomy soon.
To recap our lighthearted romp through FFVland: three Crystals are kaput, our first ship has sunk, Faris is still the most glorious pirate, Lenna is a friend to everything with fur and scales, Galuf has regained at least some of his memories, and Butz is still a charming goofball. So, can our erstwhile Four Warriors of Light save the remaining Crystal?