The Return of Talking Time

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Old 05-31-2012, 09:00 PM
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Default The best intentions invite the worst kind of trouble. Let's Play Final Fantasy XII

Table of Contents
Introduction / TL;DR Version
Supplemental I

Act I
Scene I / TL;DR Version
Supplemental II
Scene II / TL;DR Version
Supplemental III
Scene III / TL;DR Version
Supplemental IV
Scene IV / TL;DR Version
Supplemental V
Scene V / TL;DR Version
Scene VI / TL;DR Version

Act II
Scene I / TL;DR Version
Scene II / TL;DR Version
Scene III / TL;DR Version
Scene IV / TL;DR Version
Scene V / TL;DR Version
Scene VI / TL;DR Version
Supplemental VI

Act III
Scene I / TL;DR Version
Supplemental VII
Scene II / TL;DR Version
Scene III / TL;DR Version
Scene IV / TL;DR Version
Supplemental VIII
Scene V / TL;DR Version
Supplemental IX
Scene VI / TL;DR Version

Epilogue
The First Circle of Hell

LP Complete



I have to admit, I never would have believed I'd be LPing this particular Final Fantasy. Ours is a strange relationship, not unlike Vagrant Story's. Indeed, the tale is nearly identical between them: my first time through, I loathed the game. My second time through, I was frustrated by it but managed to finish. My third game went better, but was still annoying (less so due to a certain exploit I learned of). My fourth game was when it got weird and I realized, while I might not particularly "love" FF12, I certainly had managed to become obsessed with it... But enough about me, let's talk about Final Fantasy XII a bit!



Released in 2006, Final Fantasy XII was a first in a lot of ways for the series (as long as you ignore FF11, anyway; most of us do, for better or for worse). It was the first main-series game set in Ivalice, a realm previously left to spin-offs like Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story. It was the first to forego a turn-based combat system entirely. It was the first to have chests that respawn and have random contents. It was the first to sport such a huge and varied free-roaming environment not trapped in world map form. (No, I don't count FFX; most areas in FFX are ridiculously linear.)



The game has proven almost as polarizing as Final Fantasy IX was for the fanbase, with its defenders being just as vehement and its haters just as full of vitriole for it. It really is a love-it-or-hate-it game (one which I have managed to travel the spectrum of from the latter to not quite the former), for all its traits, and we're going to take a good look at it now.

Last edited by Sky Render; 11-02-2012 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:01 PM
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Prelude - The Archades-Dalmasca War

Alright, let's load this sucker up and get this show on the road! (We'll be playing from an emulator, as I did before with FFX International, because capturing from my PS2 looks kinda fugly in hindsight. Also, we might get some more amusing emulation glitches to laugh at that way.)



♪♪ Loop Demo ♪♪ (You can hear small fragments of many songs from the rest of the game in this track's second half. 'Tis a proper musical montage.)

It was the best of title screens, it was the worst of title screens...

FF12 actually has a rather innovative feature to its opening FMV/title screen sequence: it's completely skippable once you see the airship start to pass by the city in the clouds. Just hit a button and the New Game/Continue prompt pops up. Fantastic! And even better, it comes up instantly when you've reset to the title screen from within the game proper. Excellent!



The opening FMV itself is your standard Tales/Suikoden/(insert-non-FF-RPG-here)-style opening montage of scenes from later in the game that simultaneously act as an attract mode and spoil future events. Quite a change from the subdued FF7-9 attract modes, and certainly a lot different than FF6 and FFX's "show part of the intro sequence" technique! Although it does do a bit of that too.



♪♪ Final Fantasy ~ FFXII Version ♪♪

I like it when games condense their settings menu for a new game onto a single page like this. It makes it so much easier to screencapnavigate.



♪♪ Opening Movie ~ Final Fantasy XII Main Theme ♪♪

Let the FMVs begin...

Also available in motion!



Rabanastre. Dalmasca. Desert city.



For some reason, we start out looking at the Muthru Bazaar. I don't know why, it has no relevance to what happens after this.



Leene's Bell is ringing! Someone's gonna have an interesting life! Actually, as we'll find out shortly, today is a royal wedding.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:02 PM
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Enter the band! Complete with soundtrack crescendo!



There's Prince Rasler Heios Nabradia! What a silly name.



And there's the blushing bride, the spritely seventeen-year-old Princess Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca! Get used to random apostrophes in character names, as they're the norm in Ivalice. Just be thankful this name includes vowels; those aren't considered mandatory in Ivalice.



At the chapel, they exchange very Eastern vows.



Theirs is a marriage that will stand the test of time. Specifically, the time it takes for this FMV to kill one or both of them off.



Yep, things are looking up for Dalmasca.



Whoops, spoke too soon!

*King Raminas looks up, concerned*
(Basch) Nabudis has fallen!
(King Raminas) Impossible!
(Rasler) My father?
(Basch) *shaking his head* I know not. I am sorry.
(Advisor) If Nabudis has indeed fallen...




Then we switch to the base on Yavin IV to track the Death Star's approach before it blows us all up! Oh wait, this is FF12, not Star Wars! But don't worry, I'll be keeping track of Star Wars references so you don't have to!

Star Wars references so far: 1

(Advisor) There is nothing to half their advance.
(King Raminas) Secure Nalbina with all haste.
(Basch) I will go.
(Rasler) And I will go at his side.
*Raminas gives his silent approval*




Dalmasca has a surprisingly large military for a nation that consists of two cities and a handful of tiny villages. Granted, the capital IS a big city, but still.



Cool, free sword!

*Raminas places the blade in Rasler's hands*
(Rasler) That I be considered worthy.




Ashe seems a bit pensive about all this. It's almost like she read ahead in the script and saw the obvious plot twist.



For Gondor!Dalmasca!



And off they fly to Nalbina! I bet the pilot in that particular craft has 3 days 'til retirement.



Mostly 'cause his ship blows up 2 seconds after they get to Nalbina. Jeez, some people just can't get a break!



That strange blue glow is called a "Paling", which is a pretentious way of saying "forcefield". Certain boss-grade enemies in the game will later be able to put these up to block all physical attacks. I fucking HATE it when they do that.

Last edited by Sky Render; 06-04-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:03 PM
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The battle in the skies is decidedly not going well. Also, why the hell would you engage in aerial combat in a situation where the aerial attackers cannot hit the ground troops anyway?



The ground battle isn't going much better, mind.



No, I do not know who Decurion is. He never shows up ever again, to my knowledge.



Rasler and Basch seem to be having fun, at least.



Oh come on, Basch! Just five more minutes!



Why do you tempt fate like that, Rasler? You just guaranteed that the Paling is gonna fall within the next 30 seconds by saying that.



See what you've done? Idiot.



Imagine that! And you didn't think to assign a regiment to protect your primary means of defense because...? Oh right, you're an idiot.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:04 PM
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Again with the shining optimism. Come on, Basch, things aren't nearly that bad!



Rasler decides he's had enough and goes all Leeroy Jenkins on the enemy's ass.



You know why it's generally a bad idea to charge right at an archer?



Have you figured it out yet?



That's right, because they can shoot you! You're officially smarter than Rasler.



With the Paling down, the ground battle just got a lot more dangerous!



Though conveniently that crashed ship just gave Basch the distraction he needed to save Rasler's worthless ass!



Ooh, suspense! Will Rasler make it, or will a single arrow to the chest be all it takes to off him?



It's raining in the next scene. That's automatically a bad sign in fiction.



Well shit.



War. Huh. What is it good for?
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:06 PM
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Absolutely nothing!



Yep, that's our game! Yet again!



I really don't need to say much here. Just that FF12 occasionally takes Plot Breaks(tm) to have Marquis Ondore exposit about what's going on. At this point it's mostly just filling us in on the backstory of things we've already seen. Later, though, it takes the Xenogears disc 2 approach of telling us things without showing them to us. Fortunately, it doesn't pull that shit nearly as often as Xenogears did, though.



♪♪ Infiltration ♪♪

Sudden perspective shift! Who could this be?



In first-person, at that! Also, more optimists. Dalmasca's military is just full of them.

(Basch) Do not say that. Not all of us are here for love of battle. He fights to defend his homeland. *He turns to the person we're seeing through the eyes of* Your name?

Hmm, perhaps it's Oedipus?



Nope, it's Reks! Though the similarity is uncanny, I must admit.

(Reks) My name's Reks.
*Back to first-person for no reason*
(Basch) Good, Reks. You bore a few cuts, but you are still whole. Well, can you stand?




What, again? Can't we just get beyond Nalbina? (The guy in the waffle-plate armor is called Vossler, just FYI.)

(Basch) Think you can fight?
(Reks) I'm fine, sir.
(Basch) How old are you, Reks?
(Reks) Seventeen, sir.
(Basch) Young. Family?
(Reks) My brother is all I have left, sir. He's two years younger than I. Living in Rabanastre.
{Almost a given, really. There's not many cities in Dalmasca, remember.}
(Basch)So young. You're barely old enough to be a man. You shouldn't be forced to wield a sword.
(Reks) No, sir. I want to fight. For my homeland and my parents.
(Vossler) Time, Basch! Save the discussion for later. We must reach the King before they act! Or all our efforts will be in vain.
(Basch) I am aware of the situation.
(Imperial) We've found them!
(Imperial #2) Over there!
(Basch) Vossler, go ahead! I will handle this rabble.
(Vossler) Godspeed. *He runs on ahead*


Hooray for exposition dumps!



Hooray for Basch being a badass too!



You don't mess with Basch fon Ronsenburg. He will end your ass.



Oh jeez, a tutorial? Yeah, we're gonna skip past this one. Although I will say this: it's one of the few tutorials where the player's character being challenged to walk around actually makes a modicum of sense since Reks basically is recovering from a concussion.



This is kinda critical. Also, a minor emulation glitch causes the vertical axis to be inverted, so I keep aiming the camera at the ground at inopportune moments. Fun!

Last edited by Sky Render; 05-31-2012 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:07 PM
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Oh I don't think you need to worry about that.



Agh, more tutorial. I'll cover combat in more detail when we get into the first update, but all you really need to know at this point is: 1. red lines mean you're going to have a bad time, 2. blue lines mean you're going to give the enemy a bad time, and 3. you still have to pick commands from the menu at this point to do anything.



Except, of course, that another minor emulation glitch has caused the normally blue target lines to turn yellow. Also, it's nice to see that Reks' allies did not in fact abandon him so he could fight the Imperial on his own.



I really like FF12's pause system, by the by. You can pause at any time (and I do mean ANY time; except FMVs, naturally), and always have the option to go back to the title screen from there. Much faster than the soft reset trick (which also still works). The pause screen is also the only way to access the Skip scene option, which is a blessing and a half that I won't be using for this playthrough since this is an LP.

Oh, have I not mentioned yet that I feel FF12's story scenes meander on too long? Don't worry, you'll get plenty of complaints about that soon enough.



Basch has spotted something!



♪♪ Boss Battle ♪♪

It's a rogue Air Cutter Remora! Cue the boss music!



Bring it!



Actually, this battle is stupid-easy. You literally cannot die, because your allies will toss a Potion on you the second you fall below half HP. Given Reks' spritely HP total, that means you get a full heal at regular intervals. You can just sit there doing nothing and let your allies win the battle for you.



You can actually try to run from this ludicrously easy and impossible-to-lose fight! It just results in Basch chewing you out, though. But it's a scene that most players don't know about, so there is that. And no, I didn't bother doing so, because pants.



Yeah, the Potion Effect in action. This "boss" is a joke.



When the camera does that, the fight is over!



Then Basch takes it to an alternate dimension and Kamehamehas it or something. I dunno. It's a Mist Quickening, which isn't even 10% as cool as a Quickening from Highlander.



Haha it's funny because their crafts are named after series-classic enemies!

(Tonberry) My engines are out. She'll not hold much longer!
(Antlion) We receive you, Tonberry. You've leave to retire. Well fought.
(Tonberry) My thanks, Antlion. Tonberry disengaging!


Man, I feel sorry for the guy piloting the Goblin. Bet he was the one who got shot down in the intro FMV.



♪♪ Infiltration ♪♪

Reinforcements have arrived! Yeah, there's basically no threats to Reks with allies like his, so even a batch of Imperials like this isn't gonna bring him down.

Last edited by Sky Render; 05-31-2012 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:09 PM
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Damn it, Basch! Stop tutorialing me!



Doin' Jell-o shots with the Imperials upstairs, probably. And by "Jell-o shots" I mean "deadly combat", of course. Which is code in Ivalice for "strawberry Jell-o shots". Livin' on the edge, that Vossler.

(Reks) What if Captain Azelas has fallen?
(Basch) *turns angrily to Reks* Don't talk such nonsense! Vossler's laughed in the face of Death far too many times for him to stop now. Men like him don't die in places like this. *turns away* We must make haste to reach the King. We will take him to safety.
(Reks) Is His Majesty unharmed?
(Basch) He'll agree to an unconditional surrender. They would not dare touch him until the wax on his seal is dry.
(Reks) But if we arrive after he's signed the treaty-
(Basch) *stops dead in his tracks* Wait. *starts sprinting forward* Quickly, Reks!


Wow, it took you that long to figure this out? You are so very genre-blind, Basch.



I think Basch might have a fetish for tutorials...



FF12's treasure chests look weird and work even more weirdly. We'll go into detail about it later, but basically there's no guarantee that a chest will be where it's supposed to be or that it will always contain the same contents. The trade-off is that (most) chests respawn infinitely and you can just keep checking them for goodies by going between a few areas (aka. "zoning"). The chests in this dungeon, however, are fixed: always 2, always a Potion in each.



A giant blue floating crystal, a save point? I never would have guessed! FF12 has 2 varieties of save point. The first is the blue type, which fully heals your party and lets you save. The second we'll run into next time, and we'll talk about it then.



Ah, technically you guys are the intruders. Just sayin', Nalbina's kinda in Dalmasca's borders.

(Reks) Sir! We have little time! You must go to the King!



Ahahaha, no you won't. You're gonna die. A lot.

(Basch) Fight well. *runs off*



Actually, Reks does surprisingly well on his lonesome. To be fair, there's only 3 of 'em and they've probably all got bad colds or something.



♪♪ An Auditory Hallucination ♪♪

Reks catches up with his colleagues! Given his expression, I'm thinking he doesn't like what he sees.



Ah. Yeah, that would put most people off their lunch.



Yep, we're too late. But where'd Basch go?



Oh there he is! He appears to have gotten a facelift in the intervening 3 minutes, too!



What, you don't like his new look? I think he looks great! 30 seconds younger, at least!

(Reks) Our King- What have you done?
(Basch(?)) The king intended all along to sell Dalmasca to the Empire.


Wow, I'm impressed at you, Basch! You even sprung for a new voice!



Oh, you were probably referring to the sword in your gut. Look, Reks, this isn't complicated. That's how people greet one another in Ivalice, with unnecessary violence. Did you just never play Final Fantasy Tactics?

(Reks) Captain, I- *faints*
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:12 PM
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Here comes the (Imperial) cavalry!

(Soldier) M'lord!
*struggling noises*


Uh oh, is this the end for Basch!?



Hahaha, that implies you wanted it at all, mysterious man.

(Basch(?)) We'll never surrender to you! We are not cattle to be sold by a traitor-king!
(Vayne) But the war is over, my dear captain. You have lost. Dalmasca is property of the Empire, now. And to think, we intended to let you keep some of your sovereignty, out of respect. But now you've gon and ruined that. Haven't you, Captain?
(Basch(?)) We will never bow to you!


Cutting remark. Vayne?



Uh oh, we've got a politician on our hands here!

(Vayne) Take the Captain away.
*Reks passes out*




Oh yeah, his kid brother. I wonder what Gannon's he's up to?



TL;DR version: Dalmasca got earfucked by the Empire's negotiators. Should've had a better BATNA, guys!



Cut to the sewers beneath Rabanastre, 2 years later! Oh rats.



♪♪ Secret Practice ♪♪

And who might this scamp be?



Oh hey, it's Reks' brother! How convenient.

(Vaan) I know, I know! Just a little more. You keep an eye out for me up there, Kytes.
*Switch to Vaan's perspective as he sizes his opponents up*
(Vaan) One...two...three more. Right. Time to clean house.


Apparently he's a professional sewer cleaner now.



Yep, you know a game's definitely based on an MMO when you've got Dire Rats running about. These little guys like to run around a lot, and if you're not careful, they'll "kite" you (that's where you get your target to focus on one party member who runs around wildly to avoid getting hit as the others all rush in and attack while the enemy's thus distracted).



Come on, Kytes, they're Dire Rats. A level 1 White Mage could take 'em out.

(Kytes) Guess I know who to call when something big comes along!
(Vaan) Hey, it's good practice for the desert. I'm ready for anything now.
{Ah, no you're not. You didn't even gain a level. You'd be Saurian chow in a femptosecond.} *Walks up to where Kytes is* That's enough for today. You should get back to Migelo's place, Kytes. Aren't you running errands for him?
(Kytes) *rubs his head ashamedly* Oops! Heh. Totally forgot.
*Both start heading upstairs*
(Kytes) You should come, Vaan. He's busy today. Might have some work for you to do, too.
(Vaan) I got other "work" to do. Hey, lock this place up for me, will you? If Migelo finds out we've been down here, he'll tan our hides.


♪♪ A Small Happiness ♪♪

Sounds like our errant orphan is now a proper rapscallion! What petty crime will he commit next?



♪♪ The Royal City of Rabanastre ♪♪

Yep, we're back here again.



Aha, theft of food! Fittingly churlish!
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:13 PM
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Sounds like a scuffle's going down elsewhere in the bazaar.



Oh dear, are we going to play the "Imperial soldiers are cheats and cons" card again? FF6 already pulled that one for the series, guys!



Oh fine, just this once...

*The soldier grabs the merchant by the collar*
(Merchant) On second thought, please, sir. Take it. It's a gift.
(Soldier #2) *waves his arm* Leave the poor sod be. We don't want trouble today.
(Soldier #1) *lets go of the merchant* Your luck, peddler.


This calls for some street-rat intervention!



I bet you can guess what he did when he brushed past the soldiers.



Wait for it...

(Soldier #1) What? My pouch! It's gone!
(Soldier #2) The boy!


Hahaha you have no pouch now.



Luckily for Vaan, Dalmasca is full of dronejams. Suck it, NPCs! Now you are the ones being blocked by people taking up the very narrow path!



Yep, Vaan's home free.



♪♪ Penelo's Theme ♪♪

D'oh!



She's mad. Can you tell?



What's his is his and what's yours is his too!

(Penelo) What do you mean, "yours"? You've been stealing again.
*Vaan starts to pace, hands over his head*
(Penelo) What happens if they catch you? We need you to be there for us, Vaan. You're no good to anyone if you're locked away in a dungeon!
(Vaan) *turns to face her* Oh, what, am I the leader now? We're orphans. The first thing you learn is you gotta watch out for yourself. C'mon, Penelo, you know it as well as I do. *turns to see her rooting through the coin purse* Hey, you give that back!


What a scamp!



Reverse-pickpocketing. You should try it some time.

(Penelo) I thought that this money was the people of Dalmasca's property. The Imperials stole it from us, so it's only fair that we take it back. It's our duty as Dalmascans. Well, wasn't that what you said?
(Vaan) Yeah, but I never said anything about taking it back from me!
*Penelo offers him the pouch*


Jeez, how ungrateful a prick can you be, Vaan?



Pretty damn ungrateful, apparently.



Might want to deduct 10 Gil for the Cactus Fruit he stole earlier too.

(Penelo) Just because I help Migelo out every now and then... It doesn't mean that you get to eat for free too, you know.
(Vaan) *looks down guiltily* I know that. You think I like living like this?


And now we're stealing plot elements from Aladdin! Wonder if he's the Diamond in the Rough of some legend.



Oh no, run! It's a giant Cliff Racer!



Ah, no, it's just an airship.

Last edited by Sky Render; 05-31-2012 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:14 PM
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♪♪ The Dream to be a Sky Pirate ♪♪ (Strangely, the end part of this song is lifted from the music that plays in a rainforest-like area later called the Salikawood.)

(Vaan) I'll be a sky pirate, free to go where I will.
(Penelo) *gives a "yeah right" look* Well, be careful. You'll never fly anything if you're rotting in a dungeon! *walks off*
*Vaan gives her a cold stare*


Jury's out on who's the bigger dick between the two, really.



That sounds like a plot trigger!

(Penelo) He wanted you to drop by his place. It might be a good idea to lend a hand!



♪♪ The Royal City of Rabanastre ♪♪

Argh, I thought we'd left the tutorials behind with Reks...



Nice acquire! Now we have free reign of Dalmasca, for the most part. And I must break from my usual formula here for RPGs and state that I am NOT talking to every single NPC in this game. Why? Well for one, 80% of the NPCs won't talk to you (which is pretty realistic). But more importantly, the other 20% of NPCs make up over a hundred people PER CITY. Do you know how many people in Rabanastre alone you can talk to? I counted: 198. ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY FUCKING EIGHT. Most 16-bit RPGs don't have that many NPCs in the entire game. And every last one of them has at least half a paragraph of exposition to spew out. Plus, in grand RPG tradition, most of them have new stuff to say after every single story event. Screw. That.

Well, I guess you can't fault FF12 for not being sprawling and huge. Some RPGs will state that their sparsely-populated towns have thousands of inhabitants, but Rabanastre really DOES have about a thousand NPCs in it.



And that's it for the introduction! Be sure to stop by next time when the game actually begins!

Last edited by Sky Render; 05-31-2012 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:16 PM
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Final Fantasy XII: The TL;DR Version

I've heard complaint that I don't summarize my LPs enough. For those of you who just want the gist of it, I present to you: Final Fantasy XII Thumbnail Theater! Each update will correspond accordingly with the main LP, and give you a quick look at what went on that update. What can possibly go wrong?

Introduction

Goin' to the chapel and I'm gonna get married...

Today is the happiest day of my life!

Sorry kids, wedding's called on account of war.

Oh goddamn it. Gimme your sword, I'll take care of this.

Sir Rasler, look out for that arrow!

Hm, 3 minutes of screen time. That's a new record for killing off a character so he can act as a plot device later. Also, *ack!*

Really, I should've seen this coming. What RPG protagonist under the age of 25 ever manages to stay happily married throughout the entire game?

Guess I'll have to take care of this myself. Guards, escort me to the war zone and then leave me completely unprotected as I sign the treaty with Archades!

Yes, sire! We'll make sure you can be well and properly backstabbed so no one present, especially not myself, can be held accountable for it!

This is clearly the best plan ever and I fully support it.

The king was totally walking into an obvious trap that was going to get him murdered.

Guh, nobody told me I'd be fighting if I joined the military... After this battle, I'm retiring!

Come along, you can help us check in on King Raminas and make sure he hasn't been murdered in an obvious trap.

Wait, what if he's been murdered in an obvious trap?

God, why didn't *I* think of that? Hurry!
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:17 PM
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STOP RIGHT THERE CRIMINAL SCUM!

You go on ahead, I can handle these guys on my own!

Says the kid who could barely handle standing up 5 minutes ago... Fine, your funeral, kid.

YEARGH!

Sir Basch, Sir Basch, I did it! I...! Oh, uh... Why is everyone so dead all of a sudden?

Guess who. Here, have a sword in the gut. That's how we say "hi" in Ivalice, you know.

Captain, why? You murdered our king and spontaneously changed your voice and face! And here I trusted you!

He was totally a traitor to his own nation. What, didn't you get the memo?

YOU VIOLATED THE LAW!

I'm innocent! Really!

Play nice and we won't hurt you. As much.

We will never bow to you!

Oh good, I was hoping you'd make things difficult.

Dalmasa surrendered at my insistence, and without terms. It turns out that I'm actually a bit of a dick.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:18 PM
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Suck it, rats! Okay, that's enough training for now. Time to go hang out at the bazaar for no real reason.

GIVE ME FREE MERCHANDISE! I'M OBVIOUSLY CORRUPT!

Yoink. Scuse me, just a law-abiding citizen passing through. BTW, I took your coin purse!

STOP, THIEF! MOVE, YOU DAMN DROMEJAMS!

Woo, nice haul!

Don't be a greedy ass, Vaan.

But I like being a greedy ass! Some day I'm gonna be a sky pirate!

And I'm going to start wearing a halter top. Dream on, kiddo. Anyway, Migelo's got work for you, so get your butt in gear.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:19 PM
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Supplemental I - The International Zodiac Job System

Alright, so. I debated it for some time, and decided that this LP would be far more interesting if I had free reign to properly show you how you can make FF12 your bitch. (Sorry, we're not doing IZJS; there wasn't nearly enough interest.) In lieu of classes, you get to watch me break FF12 so hard that it comes crying home to Squenix. That is, if you ask me, worth the concession of not being able to torment me with the worst possible class choices for every character.



But for those curious about what the alternative LP would have been like, here's a look at the International Zodiac Job System. The following was written under the assumption that we would be doing IZJS. Nonetheless, it's still an interesting look at what won't be now but may be some day in the future.

Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System License Boards

Here are all of the available License Boards in the game, for easy reference. All classes can get licenses for all accessories, to my knowledge, and all of them have full access to Quickenings and Espers. One important note, though: there are only 4 Quickening spots per grid, so if 2 characters are in the same class, you're gonna have fewer Quickenings between them!

Also important to note is that every class has "restricted" skills which they can only obtain by having certain Espers and Quickening slots. I will note these skills to help you from choosing a class just because it sounds cool for all its options, when in fact those options are locked off. Only the Hunter class is genuinely limited by Quickening slots, incidentally; as long as you don't double-team any License Board, every other class can learn all skills listed as "potentially restricted".

White Mage (Aries) - Your traditional healing type. They can get licenses to equip all types of rods, two mid-level daggers, and 3 different types of greatswords. Armor-wise, they specialize in mystic armor. Key abilities include all forms of White magic, a handful of Green magic spells, a small number of Technicks, and magic-oriented Augments.

Pros - Only class in the game that can learn the most powerful White magic
Cons - They're not exactly the best fighters in town...

Skills - Rods (all), Mystic Armor (all), Accessories (all), White Magick (all), Green Magick 1/2/3, Achilles, Charge, Stamp, HP +30/70/110, Ether Lore (2), Battle Lore (5), Magick Lore (14), Channeling (3), Swiftness (2), Martyr, Spellbreaker, Serenity, Inquisitor, Warmage, Spellbound

Potentially Restricted Skills - Battle Lore, HP +150/190
Restricted Skills - Libra, Numerology, Souleater, Daggers 5, Greatswords 1/2, HP +230/270/310, Battle Lore

Uhlan (Taurus) - Aka. Lancer, this class is basically a Dragon Knight sans the Jump command. They equip spears exclusively, wear heavy armor, and can learn some mid-level black magic along with most Technicks and several physical-combat-related abilities. An Uhlan, incidentally, is a type of Polish cavalry soldier.

Pros - They get the strongest weapon in the game, and are the only class that can wield it.
Cons - Well, they're not very good mages, I guess...

Skills - Spears (all), Heavy Armor (all), Accessories (all), Achilles, Charm, Souleater, First Aid, Infuse, Poach, Shades of Black, Revive, Phoenix Lore (2), Swiftness (2), HP +30/70/110/150/190/270/310/350, Headsman, Battle Lore (12), Focus, Remedy Lore 1/2, Martyr, Inquisitor, Last Stand, Potion Lore 1/2, Magick Lore (5), Spellbound (10)

Potentially Restricted Skills - Black Magick 5/6
Restricted Skills - Expose, Wither, Bonecrusher, Black Magick 7/8, Potion Lore 3, Magick Lore (2), Battle Lore (2)

Machinist (Gemini) - This is very much a quirky fighter class, using weapons that most players tend to ignore or avoid in the main game. Their specialties include guns, measures, a few mid-rank hand bombs, and light armor. Magic-wise, they can learn some mid-level Time magic, most Technicks, and a lot of quirky Augments.

Pros - Definitely a very unique class to play, since it requires some serious tactics to play well.
Cons - Might be a bit too quirky to really be useful... Your call.

Skills - Guns (all), Measures (all), Light Armor (all), Accessories (all), Achilles, Charm, Gil Toss, Horology, Libra, Numerology, Steal, Poach, Stamp, Traveler, Martyr, Phoenix Lore, HP +30/70/110/150/190/230/270/310, Spellbound, Remedy Lore 1/2/3, Battle Lore (3), Magick Lore (2), Potion Lore 1/2/3, Headsman, Inquisitor, Ether Lore 1, Last Stand, Swiftness (3)

Potentially Restricted Skills - Magick Lore (3)
Restricted Skills - Hand-bombs 3/4, Green Magick 1, Time Magick 8/9/10, Magick Lore, HP +350/390

Red Mage (Cancer) - Red Mages, as you probably know from series canon, are magical jacks-of-all-trades. This is very much the case here, with Red Mages specializing in greatswords, maces, mystic armor, shields, and a handful of high-level heavy armors. They can learn about half of each school of magic (not just White and Black but also Time, Green, and Arcane), with particular focus on White and Black. Their Technick options are much more limited than most classes, however, and their Augments are not great.

Pros - Jack-of-all-trades, not much they can't do early on.
Cons - Master of none, not much they can do later on.

Skills - Maces (all), Mystic Armor (all), Shields (all), Accessories (all), White Magick 3/4/5/6, Black Magick 3/4/5/6, Time Magick 1/2/3, Greem Magick 1/2/3, Arcane Magic 1/2/3, Charge, Souleater, Martyr, Channeling (2), HP +110/190/270, Magick More (12), Battle Lore, Warmage, Ether Lore 1, Inquisitor, Spellbreaker, Headsman, Spellbound, Serenity, Swiftness

Potentially Restricted Skills - White Magick 2, HP +230/435
Restricted Skills - Greatswords 1/2/3/4, Heavy Armor 8/9/10, Steal, White Magick 7, Black Magick 9/10, Channeling, Battle Lore (2)

Knight (Leo) - This is about what you'd expect from a Paladin class, actually. They can equip all swords and all greatswords (including the best ones in the game), heavy armor, shields, and the Genji set. Fantastically, they can learn some mid-level White magic, have some very handy Technicks at their disposal, and have great Augments for phyiscal and magical combat both.

Pros - Pretty much the archetypical Paladin, only better
Cons - I honestly can't think of any!

Skills - Swords (all), Greatswords (all), Heavy Armor (all), Shields (all), Genji Armor, Accessories (all), Souleater, First Aid, Infuse, Sight Unseeing, HP +30/70/110/150/190/230/270/310, Battle Lore (9), Shield Block (3), Swiftness, Martyr, Adrenaline, Inquisitor, Headsman, Focus, Last Stand, Spellbound

Potentially Restricted Skills - HP +390, Revive, Excalipoor
Restricted Skills - Telekinesis, White Magick 6/7/8/9, Potion Lore 1/2, Battle Lore (2), HP +350

Monk (Virgo) - Another quirky fighting class! This one uses poles and light armor. The focus of this class is mostly on assorted powerful White magic, many Technicks, and augments oriented around making them into a sort of hybrid of White Mage and fragile speedster.

Pros - Well, they CAN use White magic and fight fairly well...
Cons - They don't fight THAT well, unfortunately... Mixed classes like this tend to have that problem.

Skills - Poles (all), Light Armor (all), Accessories (all), Achilles, Bonecrusher, Wither, Expose, First Air, Libra, Numerology, Shades of Black, Revive, Battle Lore (16), Brawler, Inquisitor, Martyr, HP +30/70/110/150/190/230/270/310/350/390/435/500, Potion Lore 1/2, Heasman (2), Phoenix Lore (2), Last Stand, Spellbound, Swiftness, Adrenaline, Focus

Potentially Restricted Skills - White Magick 9, Phoenix Lore
Restricted Skills - Traveler, Sight Unseeing, Souleater, White Magick 4/10/11/12/13, Potion Lore 3, Swiftness (2)

Time Mage (Libra) - A surprisingly quirky class, and not like your traditional Time Mage at all! These guys rely on bowguns (yes, really), mid-level swords, and heavy armor. They can use a tiny bit of White and Green magic, and of course all Time magic. Their Technicks are fairly decent and their Augments focus on magic-oriented combat.

Pros - Pretty damn effective for a mage!
Cons - It's still a mage class. Bit of a drawback in a game that focuses on physical combat!

Skills - Bowguns (all), Heavy Armor (all), Accessories, Time Magick (all), Green Magick 1/2/3, Charge, Horology, Numerology, Poach, Stamp, Chaneling (2), Serenity, Ether Lore 1/2, Spellbound, Swiftness (2), Magick Lore (7), HP +110/190, Battle Lore (8), Headsman, Inquisitor, Spellbreaker, Martyr, Warmage

Potentially Restricted Skills - HP +150
Restricted Skills - Addle, Shear, White Magick 4, Swords 7/8/9, Battle Lore (2), Ether Lore 3, Channeling, HP +230/270

Breaker (Scorpio) - Sort of like a Berserker, only without the whole "perma-berserk" problem. This class wields axes/hammers, hand bombs, heavy armor (including the Genji set), and shields. They sport no magic, mostly physical Technicks, and Augments centered squarely around physical combat.

Pros - Combat-proficient to the max, bro!
Cons - Magic-deficient to the max, bro!

Skills - Axes (all), Hand-bombs (all), Heavy Armor (all), Shields (all), Genji Armor, Accessories (all), Wither, Expose, Shear, Addle, Infuse, Sight Unseeing, Swiftness, Last Stand, Martyr, HP +30/70/110/150/190/230/270, Inquisitor, Shield Block (3), Adrenaline, Battle Lore (10), Focus

Potentially Restricted Skills - HP +390, Battle Lore
Restricted Skills - Horology, Shades of Black, Traveler, Magick Lore (4), Battle Lore, Swiftness (2)

Archer (Sagittarius) - As you'd probably imagine, this class specializes in long-ranged weaponry. They use all types of bows, light armor, and even a bit of high-level heavy armor. They can use very limited White magic, a lot of Technicks, Augments of both physical and magical nature, and are generally all-rounders.

Pros - Long-ranged attacks never go astray!
Cons - They're by and large a one-trick pony in that regard, though.

Skills - Bows (all), Light Armor (all), Accessories (all), Achilles, Shear, Addle, Charm, First Aid, Gil Toss, Libra, Poach, Shades of Black, Revive, Steal, Traveler, HP +30/70/110/150/190/230/270/310, Focus, Battle Lore (3), Remedy Lore 1/2/3, Phoenix Lore (3), Swiftness (3), Martyr, Inquisitor, Headsman, Potion Lore 1/2/3, Spellbound, Last Stand

Potentially Restricted Skills - White Magick 4
Restricted Skills - 1000 Needles, Infuse, Heavy Armor 10/11/12, HP +390/435, Magick Lore (5)

Black Mage (Capricorn) - The Black mage has gotten quirky! Imagine that. They use some types of hand bombs, all types of staves, mystic armor, and even a bit of mid-level heavy armor (amazingly enough). Magic-wise, they of course excel in Black magic (and can use a bit of Green as well). They sport some limited magic-oriented Technicks and magic-oriented Augments. Can you guess the secret word of the day? MAGIC!

Pros - They're everything an attack mage should be.
Cons - They're also everything an attack mage usually is, ie. squishy targets for enemies to kill.

Skills - Staves (all), Mystic Armor (all), Accessories (all), Black Magick (all), Green Magick 1/2/3, Charge, Charm, HP +150/270, Magick Lore (16), Remedy Lore 1/2, Martyr, Ether Lore 1/2/3, Warmage, Inquisitor, Spellbreaker, Headsman, Swiftness (2), Spellbound, Serenity, Channeling (3)

Potentially Restricted Skills - HP +70/390
Restricted Skills - Telekinesis, Steal, Poach, Hand-bombs 2/3/4, Heavy Armor 7/8/9, HP +190/230/310

Samurai/Mononofu (Aquarius) - Oh joy, awkward translations! (Mononofu is a very arcane term for a samurai.) Samurai utilize katanas and Blood Swords, as well as wear mystic armor, Genji armor, and a small bit of heavy armor too. They have a few very physical-combat-oriented Technicks, Augments all about physical combat, and generally are about killing things with weapons.

Pros - They're pretty awesome fighters.
Cons - They're pretty awful anything-other-than-fighters.

Skills - Katanas (all), Mystic Armor (all), Genji Armor, Accessories (all), 1000 Needles, Bonecrusher, Darkness, Gil Toss, MP-HP, Sight Unseeing, Shades of Black, Stamp, Magick Lore (12), HP +70/110/150/190/230/270/310, Inquisitor, Headsman, Swiftness (3), Martyr, Battle Lore (5), Serenity, Spellbreaker, Last Stand, Remedy Lore 1/2, Spellbound

Potentially Restricted Skills - HP +350/390/435, Battle Lore (2)
Restricted Skills - Souleater, Libra, Blood Sword, Heavy Armor 9/10/11, Shield Block, Magick Lore (2), Brawler, HP +500

Hunter/Shikari (Pisces) - More translation annoyances! (Shikari is a Hindi word meaning Hunter, roughly.) Hunters specialize in daggers (all of them), some mid-level guns, ninja swords, light armor, and a few mid-level shields. They can eventually learn Protectga and Shellga, have some generally useful Technicks, and sport occasionally baffling but overall kinda useful Augments.

Pros - Well, they're competent enough at combat, I guess...
Cons - Like most many-option classes, they lack any real focused specialty. And what they do specialize in generally sucks.

Skills - Daggers (all), Light Armor (all), Shields (all), Accessories (all), 1000 Needles, First Aid, Libra, Traveler, Telekinesis, HP +30/70/110/150/190/230/270/310/390/435, Battle Lore (5), Magick Lore (4), Shield Block (2), Focus (2), Last Stand, Spellbound, Martyr, Inquisitor, Headsman, Potion Lore 1/2/3, Remedy Lore 1/2/3

Potentially Restricted Skills - Ninja Swords (all)
Restricted Skills - Bonecrusher, Stamp, Shades of Black, Gil Toss, White Magick 12, Guns 5/6, Phoenix Lore (2)
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:20 PM
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Yay, it begins! Ironically just as I started playing FF 13 for the first time. A funny side-note, I bought this game when it first came out, played it for a couple of hours, then unceremoniously set it aside and ignored it for years until I finally sold it off, for significantly less than I paid for it. A while after that, Sky played it, found ways to love it by breaking it, and finally convinced me before the start of this LP to give it another shot under better circumstances now that battle systems like Xenoblade had wet my appetite for the battle system type, which was what overwhelmed me in the first place back then. I have also realized that 13's battle system is very similar to 12's except for not being able to control your movement about the field.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky Render View Post
Love that theme.

Anyway, I'll be looking forward to the rest of the LP! I played this game a couple years ago and liked it well enough, but I get the feeling I made parts of it more annoying than it should've been (I grinded for License Points and equipment a lot). Still a pretty good game, though.

Also, you are a madman for LP'ing a game as gigantic as FFXII; I know I probably wouldn't be able to manage, much less make it entertaining. Good luck!
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soren Highwind View Post
Love that theme.

Anyway, I'll be looking forward to the rest of the LP! I played this game a couple years ago and liked it well enough, but I get the feeling I made parts of it more annoying than it should've been (I grinded for License Points and equipment a lot). Still a pretty good game, though.

Also, you are a madman for LP'ing a game as gigantic as FFXII; I know I probably wouldn't be able to manage, much less make it entertaining. Good luck!
It's a good thing Rabanastre's theme is so catchy, since you end up hearing it a lot if you're the uber-completionist sort.

Grinding for LP is a common mistake, and one that we'll be addressing in this LP. The short of it is that planning ahead reduces the LP grind factor to nil; you'll get more than enough just going from area to area.

As for FF12's sheer head-crushing size, what can I say? I like big projects. I was even tempted at one point to claim Oblivion for LPing.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:02 PM
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This is excellent stuff so far. My one complaint: sprightly. (Technically, spritely is a word, but it's a very obscure word and probably not the one you meant.)
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
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As for FF12's sheer head-crushing size, what can I say? I like big projects. I was even tempted at one point to claim Oblivion for LPing.
There's always Skyrim.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
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This is excellent stuff so far. My one complaint: sprightly. (Technically, spritely is a word, but it's a very obscure word and probably not the one you meant.)
You can blame Terry Brooks for that one. He loves to use obscure terms, and I read his books a lot. So much so that I have never actually seen the term "sprightly" before, but have seen "spritely" used in its place at least a dozen times.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:20 PM
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I fell in love with this game for two reasons. First, the battle system grew on me, especially once the training wheels came off and you had enough gambits to do things (which does take about way too long). Second, for the game's success in world building, which is something I feel has been a weakness in most final fantasy games. Story was pretty meh for me, but I think in the end I sunk a bit over 100 hours into this thing so it's awesome to see this LP get started. Best of luck.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:59 AM
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No, I do not know who Decurion is. He never shows up ever again, to my knowledge.
Ancient Rome soldier rank, literally 'leader of 10 men'. I wager equivalent to today's Sergeant.
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:04 AM
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True story: My first encounter with FFXII was renting it with a couple of friends. During the wedding scene I thoroughly protested that dumb gap in the princes armour, not just for how unpleasant getting arrowed in the esophagus might be, but because it's an open invitation to take that kind of shot.
Credit to FFXIIs story, I was too unhappy about his death to feel very gratified.

Is breaking the game open going to start with acquiring a certain wind-element dagger ahead of schedule?

Grinding for LP is definitely unnecessary, though it might happen incidentally while grinding for money, which is sometimes* necessary.

*by which I mean always
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knurek View Post
Ancient Rome soldier rank, literally 'leader of 10 men'. I wager equivalent to today's Sergeant.
Appropriately pretentious for Alexander O. Smith.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jikkuryuu View Post
True story: My first encounter with FFXII was renting it with a couple of friends. During the wedding scene I thoroughly protested that dumb gap in the princes armour, not just for how unpleasant getting arrowed in the esophagus might be, but because it's an open invitation to take that kind of shot.
Credit to FFXIIs story, I was too unhappy about his death to feel very gratified.
Yeah, Rasler pretty much got what he deserved. Bloody idiot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jikkuryuu View Post
Is breaking the game open going to start with acquiring a certain wind-element dagger ahead of schedule?
It's been pretty well established up to now that I break games. So yes, there will be a certain wind-elemental dagger popping up in short-ish order. As well as a few other overpowered-for-early-game goodies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jikkuryuu View Post
Grinding for LP is definitely unnecessary, though it might happen incidentally while grinding for money, which is sometimes* necessary.

*by which I mean always
The means by which I intend to evade the need for constant Gil grinding is tied to the same method I avoid the need to constantly grind for LP or levels, oddly enough. Granted, the flow of money from this method won't keep you going until the endgame, but it WILL keep you going until you get access to the best money-making enemy type in the game. A type that can get you enough money to buy the penultimate weapon after only about 2 hours of slaughter (which in FF12 is a miracle money-wise).
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:34 AM
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Ah, such an unsubtle moment of "Did you like that opening? Because that's not what this game is going to be about at all!"

Sky Render, this is a hell of a great start for this LP. My eyebrow raises in salute to your wild ambition.
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:28 PM
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Very cool stuff, and I'm digging the TLDR format! I'm looking forward to the upcoming breakage.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:44 PM
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Decurion's a military rank duder, drawn from the old Roman Empire.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:46 PM
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I'm enjoying this quite a bit, and it's an interesting game to revisit since I'm playing through Xenoblade at the moment. I really hope FFXII IZJS gets ported/HD upgraded to Vita.
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:22 AM
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Hooray! This is one of those games I like but not enough to play again. The opening slog is too annoying. And the fact that I'd have to hook up the PS2 again to play it.

One of my favorite things in this game is the diversity of what you could do with a character. Penelo with a staff flinging white magic feels appropriate to her personality/type but I liked giving her a spear and turning her into a Maiden Of War. :3
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