_hojo:Final Fantasy 3/6 – the CES runNovember 30, 2009
_Earlier this year, I happened to be browsing the “in-depth FAQs” for Final Fantasy VI (originally released as FFIII in the US) on GameFAQs, when I stumbled upon an interesting idea. “Beat the game using only the 3 characters you’re required to get during the 2nd half of the game.” I thought to myself, “What an interesting idea, especially since I’ll be using a lot of Celes and Setzer.” See, I oftentimes never use Setzer when i play FF6, and while Celes does get a decent amount of forced play throughout the game, I usually find myself dumping her for Terra once I get her back in the party. I was also looking forward to seeing the changes that would occur plot-wise, as there are many decisions the game expects you to make that aren’t actually required. Not much, really. But there were still some humorous back doors taken by Square when you don’t do all the optional shit.
_First things first…Shadow. That silly ninja. Square lists him early in the instruction booklet, giving you the idea that you get him early on to get you excited. “Oh fuck yeah, a ninja! He’s gonna be a bad ass!” And even if you didn’t see him there first, you’d see his ninja sprite at the bar in South Figaro, and you’d say “Oh shit, I need to talk to that fucking ninja.” Well, seeing how I knew I couldn’t get him at South Figaro, I just ignored him. The next time I saw him was at Gau’s dad’s house with Sabin after he fell into the river. Well…I had decided that since i didn’t want to do half a special run on FF6, in the World of Balance, I would do “Required characters only.” So…sorry Shadow, you’re optional. I ignored his ninja-y ass again. The next time I saw him was in Kohlingen on my way to Zozo. Again…don’t need you. Point is…I ignored Shadow for the entire game. Then comes the trip to Thamasa. Locke and Terra meet General Leo on the boat in Albrook, and he’s all “We’ve got company.” And it’s Celes and some ninja I’ve never seen before. The best part is that he just walks up and introduces himself in the most ridiculous way possible. Imagine this…you’re at home. A friend comes over. “Hey, I brought some friends you’ve never met before.” One of these said friends walks in and before you can even begin proper introductions, he says, “I’ve forsaken the world. Some people call me…Shadow.” You’d think to yourself, “Wow…what a tool.” Well, don’t talk to Shadow until Albrook, and that’s the exact way Shadow introduces himself. Yeah. What a dork. It’s almost like he’s been following you, trying to wriggle his way into your party, and by that time, he was just like “I’m just going to walk up and deliver the dumbest line I possibly can, so they’ll never forget me.” Well played, Shadow. Well played.
_More fun ensued during the ending sequence. If you’ve beat the game, you’d know that Terra probably has the biggest role during the ending sequence out of the main characters, with magic and the Espers disappearing and her being half Esper and all. But…she’s not required. What happens to the ending? Well, she mentally hears her friends calling for her from the tower (which is bunk, I had things well under control) and so she abandons all the orphaned kids and flies off to the tower to take part in the ending. This scene happens during the middle of Kefka’s little spiel to the entire party (in this case 3 people, making it pretty funny when he says “I’ve been expecting you!” Really? You were expecting a mere 3 people to hop on your tower by airship and climb up to the top by themselves? He must not have much faith in the creatures he had protecting this place) Then, once you beat him, Terra show up…just in time to have to leave a crumbling tower. Seriously. She flew all the way there to help her friends, and does nothing except run away with them. GG Terra.
_Then there are the endings themselves. Everybody gets a an ending of them escaping the Tower…only in this run, they’re not there. So…what happens then? Everybody’s ending gets replaced with pan shots of areas they’re associated with and their character portrait on the screen. Exciting. The best part of this is when they do Shadow, then Relm, then Strago. They go back-to-back-to-back and they all get the same pan shot of Thamasa. It’s oh so cool to see 3 times in a row =P
_Those are the fun story changes from the CES run off the top of my head…but what about the difficulty? Really…only a couple of parts come to mind as being all that difficult, most of them coming in the World of Balance, funny enough. Locke solo’ing the Opera House was rather difficult, as up to that point, he’s been used so little and is pretty hideously underleveled. Terra solo’ing the Cave of the Sealed Gate was easily the most difficult part of the entire run. That part is pretty damned tough with a FULL party, and it’s completely stupid with just one. Thankfully, the enemies give out so much EXP, that after a couple battles, Terra starts to get insanely powerful and by the 2nd half of the dungeon, you’re one shotting everything in sight. But the beginning of that dungeon…ugh. What a pain. An idea of how stupid that place is is that the enemies there give out more EXP than pretty much any other enemies for the rest of the WoB. Yeah…thanks, Square. Go fuck yourselves. In the WoR, the only parts that come to mind are the fight with KatanaSoul (cause I didn’t want to cheese him with Muddle) and fighting people with Instant Death attacks in Kekfa’s Tower. Yeah…go to hell Retainers. What kind of instant death move isn’t affected by the Safety Bit? What a load of shit. But since the run forces you to use a lot of the same characters all the time, they end up gaining a lot of levels and become a lot stronger than they would normally be. So even though you’re only rolling with 3 people in the WoR and one of them is Setzer and I wanted to wait until I was actually in Kekfa’s Tower to get the Fixed Dice, Celes and Edgar are good enough to rape things with magic and drills.
_Would I recommend playing the CES/requireds only run to FF6 vets? Yes, I would. Not because of difficulty, because overall, it’s not all that difficult. But I found it to be a very interesting and fresh way to play a timeless RPG. It’s also fun to beat up Umaro and then leave him emasculated in his cave =D