Tag Archives: final fantasy 6

Xenogears 17: Better Living Through Death(s)

The good bookFei Fong Wong discovered late in his journey that his “true” personality had been fractured into separate pieces, and he only obtained Xenogears when he reckoned with all of the parts of himself. While such an ordeal would be confusing for anyone, this was particularly crazy for Fei, as he had also lived multiple lives through the centuries. And now he had memories of all of those lives. So can Fei (and us) learn from his multiple lifetimes of adventures?

Abel was Fei’s first incarnation. At the dawn of humanity, there was Cain and the Gazel Ministry. This gang advocated for the resurrection of Deus, and the majority of the freshly hatched population was into that nonsense. Abel opposed it, because he believed man should be more independent… which makes a certain amount of sense, as Abel was literally the only “real” human in this solar system. Of course, this led to some conflict with Cain and friends, and Abel was murdered. But an incarnation of Elehayym attempted to save Abel… before taking a fatal energy blast to the chest. So Abel and Elly died more or less together, though Elly likely bled out on the prehistoric floor first.

About 6,000 years later, “Abel” was reborn as Kim Kasim. Kim was an accomplished scientist and horrible date. Despite being a brilliant man who invented nanotechnology and could literally create life from nothing, he was one of the most cantankerous people in the Zeboim civilization, and spent an entire Deusmas dinner talking about how everyone on the planet was a jackass (except him, of course). Luckily, that era’s Elly was a nurse, and she fell hard for the misanthropic Kim. Together, they went on to birth/build an immortal nanotech woman named Emeralda. Unfortunately, this process was fraught with political danger, and, when Kim attempted to hide his new lifeform with a terrorist organization, that era’s government showed up, and murdered the heck out of everybody. Oh! And Elly died horribly in a hallway attempting to defend Kim that time, too. Presumably, Kim died slightly later than her, as he sealed himself in a room with Emeralda, and likely just mundanely starved to death inches away from where his baby mama’s blood painted the walls.

Don't make eye contactBut do not worry, as the wicked society that led to Kim and Elly’s horrible deaths was wiped out by nuclear annihilation anyway. The survivors went on to establish the nations that were more familiar to modern Fei and Elly, and, about 3,500 years later, Sophia was born. Sophia was the latest incarnation of Elly, and, with her metaphysical connection to Deus, she possessed high etheric abilities. Unfortunately, she was also sickly, and… Well, we covered this before. She met Lacan, the reincarnated Abel/Kim. She met Krellian, the man who would go on to try to create god. She met Roni & Rene Fatima, who were just a pair of good dudes. But, in the end, this Holy Mother decided she had to sacrifice herself to save everyone (Lacan particularly included), and she died in the fiery, suicidal crash of the Excalibur. But this time her “Fei” lived much longer… which led to him killing 98% of the population in pursuit of -the power-, and then trying to kill everybody left a few centuries later. So, in this case, Sophia/Elly sacrificed herself for her friends… but most of her friends turned out to be murderous dicks, and the world she loved mostly got obliterated by those same friends. Kind of a downer for a generational martyr.

About five hundred years later, we reach the final incarnation of these star-crossed (usually) lovers. Fei and Elly now lived in a world that was generally obliterated by the previous generation (though, now, a whole new obliteration was on the table. There were zombies!), featuring the final remnants of humanity shambling around and maintaining a giant robot battle arena for some reason. The most interesting place on the planet is a desert containing a dead dragon (that really should have been mentioned somewhere in history), and the most prominent remaining human is a centuries-old Elvis impersonator with amnesia. But Fei and Elly have a chance for a happy ending this time, as at least they are both still alive as Fei enters the belly of the beast in an attempt to rescue his millennia-old damsel. Have they finally learned that martyrdom has only ever made things worse? Will there be a happy ending for these two? Well, the scripture tells us about the tale in the next chapter…

Even Worse Streams presents Xenogears
Night 17

Original Stream Night: June 8, 2021
Night of the Schools’ Rivalry

Random Notes on the Stream:

  • Fanboymaster brings us the best introduction in this whole Xenogears project with Kishi and BEAT also immediately available.
  • Caliscrub arrives shortly thereafter with a welcome to the open/destroyed world of Xenogears.
  • And then Abby Denton! And Ample Vigour!
  • Let’s talk about our favorite Lou Bega moments!
  • “This is Big League Chu.”
  • Duuuuh?Jeanie joins as we visit the completely wrecked world of tomorrow.
  • Welcome to an underground city that Hammer apparently mentioned once! Let’s see Rico and Emerelda’s Gears in use for maybe the first time.
  • Fanboymaster mentions that he is surprised the Golgo 13 author, Takao Saito, is still around. He died three months after we recorded this stream…
  • “Please tell me the full story of Big Joe.”
  • “Who the hell is Kim?” “Fei’s Kim!” “Fei’s Kim!” “Fei’s Kim!” “Fei’s Kim!”
  • We’re heading to the desert triangle island. And maybe Gogo is Adlai Stevenson. It really cannot be disproven.
  • “They’re trying to steal our precious sand!”
  • Ample Vigour discovered that Breath of the Wild is good once he started running around and doing nothing. We’re also doing nothing while exploring this desert, so it’s surprisingly relevant.
  • It momentarily appears that I managed to get the glitch where I parked my airship on the Duneman Isle, but we overcome.
  • We get a history of BEAT being blocked on twitter as we revisit the fighting arena to see all the Gear weirdos.
  • The last man of the sea“Nobody would try to make Xenogears nowadays. Because game development costs money!”
  • When did we rescue Ramsus!? I have been paying attention! And I don’t remember it happening! Don’t lie to me, Xenogears.
  • Is Violent Ken more violent than regular Ken? Who knows. Let’s talk to Dan.
  • Did I mention Bongo Bill has been here for most of the night? I can’t remember when he showed up.
  • At least he sticks around for dolphin family relations. It… is hard to explain.
  • Oh, hey, there’s that sword forge/unequip thing just like we would eventually see in Xenosaga.
  • And then we close with a entering the final dungeon. Get ready for a big ol’ finale!

Next time on Xenogears: The end! Part 18/20

That's gonna happen

Wild Arms 3 Part 38 Interlude: Art Appreciation

Did you think we were taking a week off just because Janus died? Nope! Gotta post something on January 23, Odd Number Day. Even though half of all the numbers in this world are odd, why are odd numbers called ‘odd?’ Is it implicating that half of everything in this world is odd?

Previously on Wild Arms 3: Chapter 2 complete!


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And now that all the major players have made their appearances…

Back in the day, I always loved strategy guides. It wasn’t just about knowing what was happening/going to happen in a game, it was also about the fact that strategy guides (and their general gaming magazine cousins) were about the only place you could get “official” art of videogame characters outside of a manual. And this was huge when your protagonist was a 16 x 16 block of smeared pixels! Do you know how many different ways I tried to interpret Celes Chere back in 1994? There was Amano art of her with pants! Did her sprite have pants? Could I see them on my chiclet-sized television? A strategy guide might help!

Now, Wild Arms 3 was released in 2002, and that was well past the point that one needed a magnifying glass and guide to figure out what was going on. In fact, as has been noted before, Wild Arms 3 has some extremely detailed and expressive models. However, it never hurts to see what was “intended” by the art department, so let’s take a quick look at some official Wild Arms 3 art.

(Unlike the rest of the LP, click on any of the images in this post for a larger view)


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As was the style of the time, our first decent introduction to our team is available in the manual. I appreciate that everyone looks happy, and even Jet seems to be having a good time. Also of note…

  • Jet’s age is listed as ????, which is never not a red flag for “mysterious past”
  • Gallows is 6’ 3” and 220 lbs. He might be the most jacked mage in all of JRPG history
  • Clive is 5’ 8”, and his gun is nearly as tall as he is
  • Virginia and Jet are the exact same height. There is something about that that I find adorable


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And our villains get a page, too. While the Prophets are clearly implied to be evil, Janus seems to be described as almost heroic. Maybe aspirational? Regardless, he definitely comes off as the bad guy who eventually joins the heroes… But, as we all know now, that is not the fate for this JRPG Janus.

Maya is not mentioned in the manual at all, and that is a crime.


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Anywho, that’s it for good stuff in the WA3 manual. Just going to also note that I am not convinced that there are actual screenshots in this manual, but some kind of simulated, labor-intensive art going on. Speaking as someone who has spent the last year taking “real” pictures of Wild Arms 3, these examples do not look actually possible…

Beyond the manual, there was a Wild Arms 3 strategy guide, but I never bought it, because Wild Arms 3 came out at exactly the point in time that I was a poor college student that had to decide between purchasing strategy guides or buffalo wings for the week… And there wasn’t a free website called buffalowingfaqs.com.


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There was some free official art released on the Wild Arms website, though.


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I have had this nonsense saved as part of my pictures screen saver for the last two decades.


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I have always loved this piece…

FGC #647 Final Fantasy 10

Let's blitz ballFinal Fantasy 10 was a brilliant deconstruction of its franchise. And that statement is firmly past tense because it was immediately undercut by capitalism.

For the current moment, let us consider Kefka Palazzo. Kefka was ultimately the final antagonist of Final Fantasy 6, and he plainly stated his goal during his decisive battle: destroy everything, and build a monument to nonexistence. Colorful metaphor about modern art aside, Kefka had plans to kill the party, every other person alive, and (given enough time) obliterate the entire planet while he was at it. All that would be left would be a black void, and even Kefka himself seemed to nihilistically seek his own end if it meant everything else went with him.

And then the heroes of Final Fantasy 6 defeated Kefka. The madman crumbled to dust, and his evil plans were no more. Afterwards, there was approximately a half hour of credits and airship flying, Terra decided to feel the wind in her hair, and then…. Nothing.

Final Fantasy 6 ends with a The End logo, and the world stops existing. The next Final Fantasy starts on another world. Any heroes, townsfolk, or even moogles from Final Fantasy 6 are not seen in the franchise again. There may be “side stories” and alike, but these all seem to take place with versions of Terra, Kefka, and others from epochs before the end of Final Fantasy 6 (you can tell because Kefka is, ya know, alive). If the world of Final Fantasy 6 exists in any conceivable form after the fall of Kefka, there is no evidence of it across any official media.

Kefka wanted to destroy the world of Final Fantasy 6. Shortly after Kefka “failed”, the world of Final Fantasy 6 was forever destroyed, obliterated by an uncaring power button.

And, after this was the norm for nearly fifteen years and a solid nine Final Fantasy titles (and at least one spinoff), Final Fantasy 10 decided to definitively comment on this strange phenomenon.

Where good games go to dieAs is stated from literally the beginning, Final Fantasy 10 is the story of Tidus. And, since you are holding the controller that keeps that story going, you are meant to be Tidus, too. Tidus is good at playing games in a technologically advanced world, but his life is turned upside down when a tragedy transports him to Spira. Spira is a much more rural, primitive spot, and something very foreign to our “modern” Tidus. Ultimately, everything you see of this world exactly matches to the time Tidus spends in this strange place. You experience every second of his journey there, and you know exactly what you know of Spira exclusively through his eyes and what he learns from others. Tidus only discovers new things about Spira if you choose to talk to more people or see more places in Spira. And even though Tidus has his own issues to work through, you wholly inhabit his view of this alien world, complete with leaving Spira exactly when he exits. You are a strange visitor from an advanced (and implied to be more enlightened/less superstitious) society, here to save the world with ideas that could only belong to an outsider. When your job is completed, everyone is going to miss you to the point of tears, but despite their protests, you literally disappear.

Hey, there is probably a reason the only characters you get to personally name in Final Fantasy 10 are Tidus and the aeons, the super-powered agents of Tidus’s “other” world. These characters are yours. Everyone else you are just visiting.

And this ties neatly into Final Fantasy 10’s concept of finality.

My good friendMagical memory whammies or whatever is happening aside, Tidus apparently comes from a world where the afterlife is an unknowable mystery. But Spira has a concrete answer to this age-old question: if you die with regrets, you are likely to either become a fiend, or live on as some manner of ageless zombie. A summoner may “send” the dead to the Farplane (a magical but firmly visitable place), but if some undead avoid this fate, they will stick around for literally eternity and continue to make a mess of things. At best, the living dead of Spira are perpetuating endless spirals of destruction, and at worst they are literally monsters. So, in short, a huge theme of Final Fantasy 10 is “don’t wear out your welcome”. You died, get over it, move on. If you stick around, you are going to hurt everybody still alive.

Thus, the true “end” for Spira’s story is when the party reaches the end of the pilgrimage, and Yuna and the rest of the party decide they are not going to feed the cycle anymore by rejecting Yunalesca, the jackass who got this ball of rubbish rolling. This makes slaying Sin a sort of coda, as the “important” ending has already happened. Change is now an inevitability. And this is further reinforced by Seymour, who had been a threatening antagonist throughout much of the quest, but now only represents the old world and old problems. Once he is deprived of his “immortal” cycle, he is little more than a speed bump. Beating a man you killed two times already is just as insignificant as that task should be. Similarly, the technical final battle isn’t the big damn boss fight of Braska’s Final Aeon, but a slow, aggravating slog through killing your Aeons. And that sucks! That whole sequence sucks, and “you just beat the Elite 4, now kill all your Pokémon” is as terrible as that sounds. But it is there. It is the last time you control this party, and it is miserable. And that is the whole, deliberate point: you are not supposed to keep being Yuna’s Pilgrimage Party. That is over now, and making it go on any longer will just bring heartache. Time to go, Tidus, your dream, your story is over. Time to hit that power button, player, the game is over now, too.

You have to leave this world behind. All of Spira, all of Final Fantasy 10 will end now and be gone forever, but you will live on. This adventure is over, but you will be better for it.

BOOMAnd this would have been the ideal moral for a Final Fantasy title that matched every Final Fantasy that came before 2001. Sure, Seymour, Kefka, Sephiroth, and every villain that wanted to destroy their world had technically won by virtue of dying and leaving behind a world no longer requiring a player to defend it, but outside of the meta-narrative of the player living on, these were games with happy endings. Yuna, Terra, and Cloud would live to see a happily ever after, and we were left with only our imaginations to guess what happened to these heroes after we left them alone. Did Terra truly find love in her new family? Did Cloud and Tifa decide to settle down? Did Yuna become a pop idol cross treasure hunter?

Oh yeah, we definitely know the answer to a few of those questions now…

Final Fantasy 10 was the first Final Fantasy to truly embrace the concept of being “final”. It was also the Final Fantasy released closest to Kingdom Hearts, a franchise that immediately revived the likes of Tidus, Wakka, and eventually even Auron (who is six kinds of dead before the game even started!). Final Fantasy 10-2 was teased as part of a trailer tacked onto the finale of FFX’s American release, and the Eternal Calm gave way to a game that all but obliterated any sort of finality in Final Fantasy 10. Shortly thereafter, every Final Fantasy retroactively jumped onto Dissidia and alike to be similarly eternal. Final Fantasy 10 started the trend, but by the time we could buy cell phone games featuring the offspring of the Final Fantasy 4 cast plowing through the same stupid dungeons over and over again, the message had become clear: there would never be an end to any Final Fantasy adventure ever again.

And, in much the same way Final Fantasy 10 asked us to accept that death is the natural end of all things, we must now accept that eternal life is the natural state of all brands.

Never understood that graphical choiceThere will never not be new Final Fantasy 10 media for the rest of our lives. Any given “HD rerelease” of FF10 will inevitably stoke the rumors of a Final Fantasy 10-3, and we may eventually see such a product “because the fans demand it”. In the meanwhile, Tidus will appear in any game that requires Final Fantasy cameos, and any of those “cameos” could be excuses to foist new pathos or backstory on our intrepid Blitzball player (depending on how serious anyone wants to be about a game where a clown can fight a tree). In 2001, it was reasonable to assume that Tidus’s story was one-and-done, and we would never see anything further to elucidate his limited life beyond the odd Ultimania release. Now? Now our grandkids are going to be learning that the third lizard that Tidus curb-stomped was secretly the fiend-reincarnation of the dude that founded the Yevon chapter of the Boy Scouts, and further information will be available on a cell phone-based lottery game released to promote Final Fantasy 19.

Final Fantasy 10 told a tale letting go, but it was released exactly when Squaresoft (soon to be Square Enix) needed to recoup some losses. It was released exactly when it was discovered you couldn’t just repurpose your Final Fantasy 5 sprites to be Final Fantasy 6 sprites in the high-definition(ish) world of next gen consoles. It was released exactly when the luxurious days of the Playstation were ending, and Grand Theft Auto 3 was about to be the hot new genre of choice. Final Fantasy 10 had the audacity to speak of finality when Squaresoft would never be able to make anything “final” ever again. In Final Fantasy’s near future, even apparent bombs like World of Final Fantasy would have to put in their time in the Meli-Melo gacha mines!

I have always liked this sceneAnd is that all bad? Well, truth be told, if I had the choice between Final Fantasy 10 having a more focused message, or being able to play Final Fantasy 10-2, I’d choose Final Fantasy 10-2 every time. Morals and lessons are all well and good, but Wakka can come out of Blitzball retirement anytime Square wants, because there is at least a 30% chance a game including him will be good (just so long as no one actually plays Blitzball). Finality in a videogame may be impossible for Square Enix nowadays, but the world doesn’t really need videogames to be final. We like videogames, SE, so feel free to keep churnin’ ‘em out.

But it does mean Final Fantasy 10’s message is forever marred by its masters. Playing Final Fantasy 10, and then immediately segueing to its sequel is not only now possible, but seemingly encouraged by releases that pair it with Final Fantasy 10-2 (and 10-2’s “six months later” teaser). Final Fantasy 10 was a game all about finales, but now it will never see its own finale.

Final Fantasy 10 wants you to learn to let go. Square Enix missed that lesson.

FGC #647 Final Fantasy 10

  • System: Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Playstation 5. Probably an Xbox here or there. Gotta be a Nintendo Switch available, too. Oh, and the Steam/PC version apparently has time saving toggles for boosting exp and alike. Why isn’t that available on a console again?
  • Number of players: This is Tidus’s story. So one.
  • GOOOOOOOALLevel Up: After years of leveling systems in Final Fantasy titles trying unique things like Esper customization or learning skills from armor, Final Fantasy 10 finally eschewed the whole concept of traditional leveling and brought us the Sphere Grid. And it’s good! I like it! Unfortunately, it kicked off a wave of sphere grid-alikes in every JRPG from here to NIS, and… maybe not every videogame needs a complicated leveling system barring entry to just jumping in and enjoying slaying monsters. If I need a strategy guide to determine whether or not I am screwing up my “build” from the first minute…
  • Play Ball: I do not care for Blitzball. But, hey, I was never a big fan of Triple Triad in its time, either. Maybe one day I will find joy in math-ball.
  • Favorite Summon: Anima. Geez, Anima. You are the living (kinda) encapsulation of everything wrong with the beliefs of Yevon, a creature harnessing unending pain to punish monsters, and you have a cool, freaky venus-fly-trap-mummy thing going on. And you punch a lot! Here’s to you, Anima!
  • Videogame Fayth: The puzzle rooms in every religious temple in Final Fantasy 10 really raise some questions. Are the cloisters of trials exclusively there for summoners, or does the cleaning staff have to juggle a series of magical orbs every time they need to dust Bahamut’s remains? And is your average Yevon priest solving block puzzles as part of their seminary?
  • Did I mention I love Auron?Goggle Bob Fact: I have always considered myself fairly… Woke? My parents are liberal and raised me in a fairly progressive fashion, but I… kind of didn’t notice Wakka when I first played Final Fantasy 10 back during my freshman year of college. But now when I play the game? Holy crap is he racist! It is fantasy racism, but the fact that he is a religious zealot that takes every spare moment he can find to denigrate the Al Bhed is exceptionally concerning. And I did not observe it at all twenty years ago! I guess I wasn’t as “woke” as I thought back then. Maybe I still have more to learn now…
  • Did you know? Final Fantasy 10 was released in America on December 17, 2001. I think ROB tried to aim their randomness at this date. I am starting to suspect something is up with that robot.
  • Would I play again: Assuming I have hours and hours to kill, I would like to play Final Fantasy 10 again. That said, it might be another decade before I get back to number ten.

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen to take a few weeks off, as it is holiday time! Let’s aim for our annual winter celebration post next week! Please look forward to it!

This is hilarious
We’ll laugh about this later

Chrono Cross 09: Final Boss(es)

Big ol' tickChrono Cross was always a complicated, labyrinthian mess of a game. From the focused infiltration mission of Viper Manor to the redundant and roach-infested remix of the intrusion a few hours later, Chrono Cross never quite knows when to let sleeping dogs lie. There is a dungeon exploring a vision of the future, another dungeon exploring a different vision of the future, and then we cap things off with a dungeon that is a vision of the future and the past (and a dinosaur). And at least one of those future dungeons (it’s the last one) ends with an epic, dramatic boss battle against a morphing opponent that is clearly intended to be the final boss.

And once you beat it, then you get to fight another, more complicated final boss.

We have not come today to roast Chrono Cross’s significant pacing problems. A gigantic dungeon followed by an arduous boss fight (and six extra boss fights in between) should never be followed by talking to ghost children on a one-screen beach before fighting a threat to the universe than cannot even get enough out of its own way to pull off a unique super attack. “Lavos” reeks of a slapdash final addition to the game, and the presentation of everything surrounding it screams of a universe where a bonus finale tying to Chrono Trigger was foisted in at some producer’s behest. We already fought Lavos, guys! And the fight was a lot more interesting last time! There might have been an alien astronaut in there or something!

But, while the final opponent of Chrono Cross is incredibly lackluster, the method of defeating her is not. The Time Devourer may be conquered one of two ways: beat it senseless, or weaponize the harmony of the planet. If you choose to slice and dice what’s left of Lavos, you will see the “bad ending”, but an ending all the same. However, if you acknowledge this is a hostage situation, and the person you are trying to save is, ya know, worth saving, you will be generously rewarded with a Schala/Kid-focused ending that provides a touch more closure. And wasn’t that the whole point of the adventure? To save Schala? I mean, it kind of came out of left field, but it did all line up…. Kinda…

Look at it goLook, it would be easy to be mad at Chrono Cross for trying to have its cake and eat it too with its complicated “real” fight against a dinosaur computer and then a puzzle fight against the true big bad… but you know what? I can count on one hand the number of JRPGs that, up to this very day, end with a boss fight that requires anything but a high strength stat. Are there interesting, intricate final bosses out there? Of course, but so many still boil down to “hit it harder”. The Time Devourer is something different, and, like the rest of Chrono Cross, that is interesting all by itself.

Even if it did mean that nearly everyone else on the stream never bothered to beat Chrono Cross “the real way” before…

Even Worse Streams presents Chrono Cross
Night 9

Original Stream Night: June 14, 2022

Recruited this week:

  • Technically we recruited Poshul again during New Game+, I guess

Random Notes on the Stream

  • Welcome to the final dungeon! Let’s discuss other PS1 final dungeons… except they’re kind of samey.
  • Ample Vigour joins almost entirely through groaning.
  • Look at me!Hulk Hogan kept the Pastamania Regalia. You cannot convince me otherwise.
  • Consider “I love the idea of incel Dracula” and other Castlevania spinoff concepts.
  • The final fighting boss appears as we discuss the possibility of a very bouncy King of Fighters JRPG.
  • What is the true nature of Lavos? Is it an astronaut that looks like a heart?… Or… something?
  • The redesign of Schala for Chrono Cross is discussed… but we all agree it is terrible.
  • We beat the game! We are playing it again! BEAT is playing Smash Bros again! My Switch told me!
  • Let’s fight Lavos all over again! And discuss how Final Fantasy 6’s Cyan is catfishing a woman from a cave.
  • And that’s it for Chrono Cross…. Kinda!

Next time on Chrono Cross: Let’s take a look back at the roads not taken.

It's her
Maybe we could go to the beach sometime?