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(Original) Final Fantasy


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I have played most of the Final Fantasy series, up-to 12 as well as the FF Tactics and Mystic Quest. I have never finished the original, however, and so that is my current goal. I am playing on an NES Classic rather than vintage hardware, but it is the original English release, not a later revision.

 

I am fortunate that I have a copy of the original manual as well as an official supplement with a world map, stats about the weapons and armour, etc. The game would be so very much more difficult without this -- and I am speaking as an experienced CRPG player.

 

Did anyone play this game BITD without access to the original manual or any other guide, such as a rental copy or something that was purchased second-hand? How far did you get? 

 

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I had a NP subscription and they got this bright idea to quietly go from bi-monthly to monthly by doing 4 off months of strategy guides which had Ninja Gaiden 2, 4Player Sports stuff etc, SMB3, and Final Fantasy.  Even with that, it's nasty just because it does have some old concepts that haven't aged well that weren't entirely fun 30 years ago either (random door to X to easily get lost stuff among other gem ideas.)  The guide is online free(ahem) to download within the archive dot org site under Nintendo Power if you can do the right search.  I'd strongly suggest it, not as an outright cheat, but as I did, for the maps, it helps not getting lost but won't save you from a beating either way.

 

Nintendo knew it was nasty, so they did this, just like how years later how awfully cryptic and strange Earthbound was they big boxed the game and used the guide as the manual or you'd be up a creek really.  That guide they do give away free, it's up on the SNES CE website with the other high res scanned manuals for those games (and NES has them on its site too.)

 

The problem with FF1 aside from the stuff I said, it's an utter grind, like dragon quest level but slower really.  You get such a tiny pittance of cash and XP per battle you'll spend a LONG time around towns and caves just to level up to work on a dungeon because you will need the gear and pay for the spells.  And spells are another issue, the MP system is a colossal dumpster fire.  The more you level up, you'll get +1 turn of various spells, and that's it, no way to restore it without a cabin/tend/town inn.  It sucks, you basically have to ration your good spells for attack and status/curing for boss fights or you're in a lot of trouble so you use weak stuff or wiggle your nearly pointless to use weapon with magic users(red mage aside.)  Personally I can't tolerate it anymore to the end, dabble sure, but if I will do the effort, it's the GBA release with better XP/GP handouts and more reasonable prices.  You still grind, but not enough to make you wish you were somewhere else.

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Oh I sure did!

 

I think I beat it twice on original hardware, which is a serious time commitment. And then once in a emulator, where you can make the enemy damage in battles go fast by running the emulator at fast forward. This is the biggest amount of time this game eats.

 

You are in for a good time.

 

I'd approach this differently then the future final fantasies.  It's more of a meditation exercise.  The character development and interactions are mostly all in your imagination. This is actually a good thing, IMHO.  I'm more likely to play this then any of the newer ones.

 

My suggestion is get some music albums ready to play. Turn down the game sound. (Cast Mute... Haha).    Like an ALBUM Album! Not a podcast or something with ads or a playlist you have to fiddle with.

 

Anyway, find something (a record or tape cassette, if you want to be real authentic) you can hit play and let go all the way to side B, flip it, repeat.

 

If you do that, you can get your imagination really going with this game, and it gets in synergy with the music of whatever musician/artist you like. And listen to the whole album... If you are going to play a game from an era with a different attention span aesthetic, you might as well do the same with your music. Besides, artists used to write albums, intended for a whole session, and it works very well for this game.

 

I think I listened to Blues Traveler (the album with the smoking cat) at least dozen times back in the day while playing this. That was my taste at the time. That definitely wasn't the only artist I heard playing this, but I think it was my go-to. 

 

Anyways, have fun! 

 

There's also a great old sprite web comic with the FF1 characters in it. Worth googling, especially if you get into this game.  PM me if you can't find it.

 

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I had FF back in the day, which I bought used with no instruction manual.  I really got nowhere in it back then.

 

I did however play and complete it several years back, and found it to be a fantastic game.  I did read the manual beforehand, but no strategy guides (I even mapped all the dungeons by hand).  There's no grind whatsoever if you actually make use of items and spells properly.  I personally really liked the D&D style spellcasting system, and it's a shame they dropped it for the sequels.

 

Whatever you do, don't just follow all the advice online about walking in circles to grind EXP and Gold.  It's not necessary, and it adds hours and hours of tedium to the game.  The dungeons are meant to be dangerous, and you are supposed to make multiple trips to get through them, not steamroll through them in a single shot without dying.

 

One tip: enemies will target the first character something like 50% of the time, the second character 25% of the time, and the last two characters 12.5% of the time each.  You can swap your first two characters if one gets low on HP to keep your party alive much longer.

Edited by newtmonkey
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Quote

The brooms in Matoya's cave in the original FF say "TCELES B HSUP" which is telling you the button to press to open the world map.

I remember beating the game without the original map, nor the NP Guide book. I do remember some hints in NP about the over world map, which made navigating to new towns and dungeons easier.
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These days I prefer the PSX version, or better yet the PSP version. They both have some quality of life improvements (cutscenes, auto-retarget defeated enemies, dash, auto-unequip, unlearn spells, party item pool, Beatiary/Art Gallery)  and are less grindy with the EXP/Gold. 

image.thumb.png.e4a9417b6301a8f6835098d4ad83a4bb.png

ffo044.jpg

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I don't know how you can argue you don't need to grind for money with the original release.  If you're using a warrior and the black and white mages it's basically a requirement.  The unholy cost of buying their gear/spells gets obscene pretty early into the game and maintains that steep hill throughout based on the output from battles along the way.  The grind isn't so much of an issue with the re-balanced re-releases on GBA, PS, phone...but the old one is nuts.

 

I only finished it once though on that original title, a life time of will was sucked out of that game from my dick brother.  He knew from warning, the game had ONE save, months into it and finishing it, came back the next day to take on Chaos again for fun, and found a LV1 SAVE on the cart... he got slammed for it, I got in trouble, then he got in trouble...it was worth it.  Was not until the GBA release I saw the ending again, yet I still own my original NES cart, posters, manual for it still.

 

Funny enough I do have the soundtracks for 1/2 the N-era best days of the FF franchise on CD.  I really should see if there's a 1+2 CD score given the date these were put together it should exist as a pair.

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FF 1 is the only FF that I've ever really played, actually.  And I did complete it back when it was a bit of "the new thing," but I don't remember if I had maps, or manuals or anything.  I borrowed it from someone in High School and played through.  I loved RPGs, but for some reason, FF didn't really win me over enough to play any of the sequels.   I may revisit the franchise some day.

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9 hours ago, Tanooki said:

I don't know how you can argue you don't need to grind for money with the original release.

I completed the game as an even more gold hungry party (Fighter, Red Mage, Red Mage, White Mage), and spent not even a minute grinding.

 

The way you avoid grinding for gold is by simply buying only what you can afford.  You prioritize equipment for the first character in your party, and make up for the rest with all the equipment you find in dungeons, etc.  It's basic RPG 101 level stuff.

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I have it on NES Classic, and I played through it once in that form, but subsequently played the "Final Fantasy Restored" hack. The biggest benefit of the hack is faster battles.

 

I definitely needed a guide. I did a lot of grinding on my first run but not much in later runs. IIRC the minimal-grind strategy is: buy spells as you can afford them, and spend as little as possible on everything else. At the very very beginning you need to buy some gear and lodging, but lodging quickly becomes cheap and gear upgrades can be found in chests. As mentioned above, don't try to plow through dungeons in one go. Between the dungeons themselves and travel between towns and dungeons, you can gain enough exp and money to progress.

 

If using a guide, then the interesting aspect of this game is choosing your party then figuring out how to use that party, which can change a bit throughout the game as you gain items.

 

Of the sequels, so far I've only played IV (in its original North American "Final Fantasy II" guise), which was much more on-rails. I didn't enjoy it much. I intend to play at least V, VI, and VII.

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11 minutes ago, newtmonkey said:

I completed the game as an even more gold hungry party (Fighter, Red Mage, Red Mage, White Mage), and spent not even a minute grinding.

 

The way you avoid grinding for gold is by simply buying only what you can afford.  You prioritize equipment for the first character in your party, and make up for the rest with all the equipment you find in dungeons, etc.  It's basic RPG 101 level stuff.

Yeah I can't play like that, that's insane.  All you do is get your ass handed to you playing like that, that's hardcore RPG 101 maybe, nothing basic about that.

 

I ran with Fighter, Thief(or BBelt), White and Black Mage, and they're really thirsty for goods (BB aside.)  Each town I would get all the armor/swords/wands needed for the party and spells to before dealing with the dungeon to level the playing field.  If I knew a piece of stuff was already within I'd go grab it though since I have the NP guide they sent out with the subscription in the day.

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Well that's kind of normal.  I wouldn't find it very wise to just run into a dungeon effectively with minimalist coverage and attack ability just to keep things interesting as that seems insane.  That's like starting going all ghosts n goblins on the game and saying, bah...underwear is enough.

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Yeah no, there's nothing similar about that...and I've never done that either.  You just have a more speed runner style of risky play, and that's fine.  I just don't feel the need to be teetering on death every moment of a RPG.  I use the towns for what they're good for, then move on.

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I bought it at launch and beat it pretty easily, but that's because I enjoyed it. It was the first NES RPG that I thought was up to par with my experience with SMS Phantasy Star, especially after Dragon Warrior 1 was so underwhelming. 

 

RE: Grinding. NES Final Fantasy 1 has an area early on often referred to as "The Peninsula of Power" where the grid overlaps to an area with later monsters that reward more exp/money than you're supposed to get at that point. Just go to the top of the peninsula (top 4 squares?) then survive some initial encounters and you can level up fairly quickly early on.

 

image.png.9ab0a2979e5bec04f660cb31f8259081.png

 

Also a fun way to play the game is with everyone being a Black Belt. They don't have need for weapons (best to go bare handed) and barely any armor and they just go around punching and beating everyone to a pulp once you level up. :lol:

Edited by NE146
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That spot in the picture i've used anytime I've played the game other than the first since the NP guide didn't cover that gem, the magazine I'm thinking did after the fact.  It's risky earlier into it you are, but damn the gains are huge.  IF you can tolerate staying for a good while the money an XP you can rack up will buy you a good long run through a lot of tedious parts of the game well into where things really pick up.

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