If you don’t know what my Diaries are, please go here. Spoilers ahoy!
Otherwise, let’s go!
Ah, you thought you were done reading about my playthrough? Gya ha ha! Kya ha ha! (The “Gya ha ha and Kya ha ha are up to something” is still one of the best lines in the game. Don’t know if it’s more Reeve or Cait saying it, but I love it.)
Time to cover the best and worst! And also discuss a little bit of Remake. Which “comes out” today despite plenty of people having had for a while… Why couldn’t Square Enix just say “screw it, when you get it, send it to your customers!” in all regions??
Worst Boss? I’d have to say Jorgmandur or however it’s spelled, the Bottomswell replacement. I learned later that he was altered in later versions of 1.5, and for good reason. He wasn’t the one I lost too the most, but he’s a required fight. So you can’t come back to him later (outside of leaving and grinding), and you have a limited set of options to attack him. Even with the ideal party of Cloud, Barret, and either Aerith (for healing) or Yuffie (for attacking), dude could crit like crazy, and he attacks multiple times. Even Barret as a tank with Cover wouldn’t go far, and Aerith just probably would go down about every other turn. Plus Barret definitely wouldn’t have the MAG to beat the bubble with one cast in a pinch, and even Cloud might not be able to depending on his setup.
Easiest Boss? Part of me says Jenova Synthesis, but I probably lucked out though. Jenova LIFE’s replacement was super easy after Jorgan though. Really, all the Jenovas were not difficult. They were kind of all over the place in the original game, so I guess it isn’t too much of a surprise. Still think that the Jenovas should be more of checkpoint Bosses, as they are directly under Sephiroth’s control versus something like Carry Armor which is just some random robot.
Biggest surprise? The Shinryu/Omega pincer fight with Omega’s devastating attack. The army of Goldberrys come in close second.
Best change? Access to some of the rarer elements. Heal was Water-elemental, you got access to Holy-elemental spells thanks to Alpha and Pearl, etc. Plus many types of enemies had shared sets of weaknesses, like humans being weak to Bio. It’s still often difficult to figure out what kind of attacks enemies are using. Also, poor Lightning element gets screwed in not having a Flare/Hydro-level ultimate option.
Worst change? The enemies who can eject/automatic KO characters. Yes, there are enemies like Midgar Zolom and Ruby Weapon who do this in the original game, but since characters have more specialized roles here, these enemies who could kick out the wrong character often meant a guaranteed loss.
Biggest change in my playstyle? I usually keep a Restore Materia on all my party members, and a Magic Materia or two to save Limits. However, with the Materia penalties, a 2 or 5% drop in HP — and max HP can be very different — was often too severe to do so. I’ve never had to carry around so many Phoenix Downs, and X-Potions are a lot rarer since they don’t drop constantly around Wutai. Previously never needed to use many Megalixirs because of X-Potions even with the W-Item glitch. So while I always went with the most slots and stuffed my team with Materia, I was much more cautious about what I carried around in my weapons and armor.
Biggest disappointment? The Junon leagues. Just a weird one-on-one where you have to fight everyone twice.
As for the characters…
Cloud – His full restore is awesome early and mid-game, as you can spam spells and then, worst case scenario, stall out in an easy battle so that he’s ready to go in the next one. In longer battles late-game, it was less useful, as his heal always seem to come when I didn’t need it. Probably should have prioritized his MAG, especially if you have a close-range main attacker like Tifa, as there’s only one Long Range Materia.
Barret – Stacks are pretty straightforward and useful, and easy to decide whether you want to make him an attacker or tank.
Tifa – Her Grit ability sometimes became useless if she got hit hard or constantly early in a tough battle, but dang, can she destroy stuff. Premium Heart’s change to MP means it’s actually useful. One-woman wrecking machine. Even though her Limits are lackluster, she would just quickly get another turn right after.
Aerith – Her late limits may be powerful, but I ended up hardly using them because her low HP + Materia penalties meant she died a lot. Plus, with Ribbons, Peerless was useless, a fact I forgot a few times. D’oh! If I didn’t keep her alive, then Cloud probably would have been my mage. Her special ability was useless to me, as when I defended, I don’t think any elemental spell hit her, and it’s just not worth her sitting there when she could be healing.
Red – Powering up throughout the battle is very good, and makes him a good option for late-game. Unfortunately, nothing can change his lackluster limits. I like him, and he might have made a good third if Cloud could be fully replaced and his Omnislash wasn’t so good. (Also, in Remake, #RedShouldHaveBeenPlayable. Can’t change my mind. Even if we aren’t going to carry over anything in Part 2, they can’t be redoing the battle system and special abilities, so they’d just have a head start on him.)
Yuffie – The game MVP, the Dodgin’ Wonder and the living embodiment of this classic song. I almost wonder if her ability is too OP, as I no doubt would have had double the KO’s if she wasn’t the last one standing, avoided several attacks, and got someone else up. Plus, Conformer also continues to be amazing, especially with Yuffie’s high DEX. Yuffie, my girl, I’m going to miss you most when I play Remake.
Cait Sith – MP overflow is nice, especially since he isn’t as fragile as Aerith. But his Limits are too random for me. And let’s face it, he’s just not cool…
Vincent – Sorry, dude. Even with workarounds like Added Cut-Deathblow and Mime, I’m not wasting a party slot on you. He’s the party member most in need of changes in Remake. I mean, first of all, he’s got to avoid being a weaker version of Barret. I’m guessing his transformations will be his special ability (probably lasts a certain amount of time, then like Barret’s Overcharge, needs time to use again)., which begs the question of what his actual limits will be. Or maybe like Galian Beast will be his triangle button ability while say Chaos will be his Limit?
Cid – Arguably, the best party in FFVII would have to include Cid. Good STR, good weapons, and his Limits are good. He’s still great here, especially since you can make him party leader late in the game. Free guards are nice to put up in most battles.
I really thought I might change up my usual party this time around, but the girls came through. Cloud actually was the weak link late in the game. He could also have been more useful if he had Long Range and, instead of Tifa, had Barret or even Vincent in. Long Range characters are just too tempting with their 50% less physical damage. So I would think the best party would be something like Cid (early-to-midgame physical attacker, late game cleanup hitter), Yuffie (early-to-midgame cleanup hitter, late game main attacker), and, either Aerith/Vincent/Cait for more magical support. Aerith for healing with her weapons and awesome magic, Cait for tanking, and Vincent for… I guess being Vincent.
All in all, the mod was interesting, and it was nice to use some visual mods to make the game look better. It was an interesting way to both relive the game and experience something new. I do love some of the tricks SegaChief put in, such as one girl being unconscious for the Aps replacement fight. There were plenty of surprises, such as X-ATM following the party everywhere and trying to suck up your time. I’d recommend it to other players, and I’d like to see how my 147 deaths stack up to others’ playthroughs. Although, because he’s still updating the mod, who knows how different your playthrough will be! Like the Rank Up system seems like it will get heavy retooling.
Of course, there were a lot of things in this game that just reminded me of how enormous a project Remake is going to have to be. The monster-sized weapons, managing chocobos, somehow explaining how no one reports a dog-lion in town… Although I’m already prepared for the ending, which I heard is a major “?!?!?! what the <bleep>” moment. So then I can go back to waiting for years after having my mind blown… yay…
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