February 2, 2016 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Colin Hanson, aka Active_ate, goes through the original (fan-translated) version of Final Fantasy V with only a single Time Mage character, and provides complete, exhaustive details of how this feat was achieved: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3. From retrogaming enthusiast site Skirmishfrogs.

If you're like me, and I know I am, this stuff is like candy.
posted by JHarris (16 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I love posts where I can read the snippet and, instantly and with 100% certainty, know who the poster is without even looking.

Thanks for the links bud.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:11 AM on February 2, 2016 [6 favorites]

JHarris, you are a treasure. Thanks for the post.
posted by tickingclock at 8:28 AM on February 2, 2016

I understand the desire to master and exploit a game this way, but I can't imagine having the patience to actually follow through. I'm the kind of person who wishes RPGs had difficulty settings- I'm really only here for the stories, and would prefer to fight as few battles as possible (FF Tactics = literally the worst). What gives someone the patience to sit for the endless hours doing the same, repetitive thing, over and over?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:44 AM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

It's weird BuddhaInABucket, but when I was a kid I thought the same, but now I'm more interested in the game systems and how to make use of them.
posted by JHarris at 8:49 AM on February 2, 2016

Goblin Punch has the curious property of an eightfold damage multiplier when both the caster and target are the same level.


so this ability scales up and stays deadly as the game goes on.

Double whut!!
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:51 AM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm the kind of person who wishes RPGs had difficulty settings- I'm really only here for the stories, and would prefer to fight as few battles as possible

Mass Effect 3 had an option for "Story Mode," which still had the battles, just with the difficultly cranked down to minimal. Let's you dispense with the hack-and-slash quickly to get back to the narrative.

I'm with JHarris mostly though, I like exploring how the battle systems in RPGs are put together. It's like in-game puzzles. Of course, once you've "solved" the puzzle, it does get irritating when you're trying to complete some storyline and the random monster generator keeps throwing angry rabbits at you every third step.
posted by Panjandrum at 8:55 AM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Am I missing something or is the final part of the article not up yet?
posted by synthetik at 9:00 AM on February 2, 2016

Argh, apparently it isn't, despite what it says at the beginning of part 3. I am disappoint.
posted by JHarris at 9:19 AM on February 2, 2016

Very cool, thanks for the read. I don't think I have the patience to play through these games myself yet, but reading about them like this brings me one step closer. Cheers!
posted by wyndham at 9:38 AM on February 2, 2016

There are some similarly insightful and entertaining screenshot only runs for classic Squaresoft games on the Let's Play archive (as well as many other games).
posted by Dalton Luceria at 9:58 AM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

OMG, the algorithm document linked in the post is amazing. Both for its contents and for the fact that this research was actually done.
NAME: Ridicule
LEVEL: 31 EXP: 900

Condition:Status:Enemy:Dead {
    Change Target:Single Party Member
    Dance of the Dead
posted by ignignokt at 10:02 AM on February 2, 2016

I'm going to watch this when I have a chance, because I love FFV (thanks FJF!). Also, if you're into these kinds of challenge runs, this site has solo runs for each job. A lot of players consider this an invaluable reference.
posted by bonje at 10:06 AM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm always in mild awe of people who do this. It's not my thing, but I enjoy knowing that people are out there, figuring this stuff out, writing about it -- living the dream
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:11 AM on February 2, 2016

Haste and slow are indeed super OP. So is breaking rods and using the healing staff. And that's before even Quick is taken into account... Whenever I get Time Mage in Four Job Fiesta I feel like it's suddenly much easier, and a guaranteed easy kill on the two optional mega bosses.
posted by nom de poop at 11:18 AM on February 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

During the recent Awesome Games Done Quick charity marathon, I was totally transfixed by this guy playing Final Fantasy IV and exploiting both a deep knowledge of how the enemy encounter rate worked and certain glitches that allow you to speed through things (like glitching Tellah's MP above 99 so he can cast Meteo and end virtually any boss battle in one turn). This stuff is like candy for me too--it's amazing to see how people dig into these 20+ year-old games and display this complete mastery of their mechanics.

To this day I still get a little thrill when I figure out how to glitch a game a little bit; it feels like pushing right up against the boundaries of how the imaginary world is constructed. I spent the last month playing Witcher 3 and had a lot of fun at one point playing chicken with the city guards, figuring out that I could lure them close to the water's edge but reach a point where they couldn't path to me, so they would be be stuck far enough outside of melee range and I could just hit them with magic and crossbow bolts from a distance.
posted by Kosh at 2:44 PM on February 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I had a similarly fun experience finding some places in The Talos Principle where you could get out of the intended level geometry and, for example, make a puzzle easier by stealing extra components from a different puzzle.

This AGDQ's Talos Principle run was probably hard to follow for anyone not familiar with the game, but I was amazed.
posted by rifflesby at 3:41 PM on February 2, 2016

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