The Return of Talking Time

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  #1  
Old 04-07-2018, 12:10 PM
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Default Let's play Final Fantasy Mystic Quest again, because *shrug*


Meanwhile, in 1992

You've heard of this game. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is the black sheep of the series, though it's unquestionably not the worst game to bear that title.

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (Mystic Quest Legend in Europe, Final Fantasy USA in Japan) is an RPG designed for beginners and dumbed down for Western audiences. Whereas The 7th Saga was fated to ignominy due to its difficulty, FFMQ was derided because of its lack thereof. There's just no pleasing people.

Except, as was the case with 7th Saga, the complaints about difficulty were blown out of proportion. FFMQ was a game ahead of its time: you can save anywhere, and you can retry battles that you fail. If it weren't for those two mitigating factors, FFMQ would be remembered as a game that was too difficult and luck-reliant.

In the end, FFMQ lives on in the hearts of many, saved by two factors: the words "Final Fantasy" and the absolutely amazing soundtrack.


Again, though?

Yes, FFMQ already has a LP on TT (though, sadly, the images are mostly broken). That's convenient, because we won't be doing a conventional LP. If you want to get an overview of the story (such as it is) and characters (such as they are), the other LP will cover those in detail, while we'll mention them in passing as we go through our journey.

No, what we're doing is a little different. Talking Time, please choose your adventure:

Level 1

Through the use of Game Genie magic, our protagonist will be stuck at level 1 for the entire game. There are no other restrictions, but because allies don't level up, this enforces a strict upper bound on our power levels.

This quickly becomes very difficult. You are forced to rely extensively on your companion. I have made it as far as the Ice Golem before, but that was without the benefit of speedup. Is the game winnable at level 1? Probably. Let's find out together.

Low%

In this run, we will get as little equipment as possible, including weapons. Many pieces of equipment are handed to you as you progress through the game, but we will only get what is absolutely impossible to avoid. All magic is optional; I'll probably grab it but probably won't end up using it. Anything companions come with is fair game.

Early on, this doesn't deviate much from a standard run, but certain battles will be more difficult than in the level 1 run. The game is filled with nasty status effects, but it's also filled with equipment that completely nullifies those status effects. We will find ourselves subject to every one of them, to say nothing of our reduced defense.




No matter which route you choose, this will not be your typical LP. Please look forward to it.

And, naturally, there's one more thing I want from you:



Eight characters or less, please.
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2018, 12:19 PM
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Level 1
Low%




(but no, i suppose level 1 sounds more fun because screw petrification)

Name is... eh screw it, let's go with a traditional name. PANTS.
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  #3  
Old 04-07-2018, 12:20 PM
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Low% - the other option seems like it might not even be possible.
Name: Bestho
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Old 04-07-2018, 12:22 PM
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LEVEL ONE!

I've always thought that that shrugging animation looked like he was flipping the player off, so "DBLDEUCE".

That said, if you go with turtle's (bad) idea, then "DBLFUKT", obv.
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  #5  
Old 04-07-2018, 12:25 PM
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Can we talk about the demo reel for a minute?



Perplexingly, FFMQ has a robust attract mode that spoils significant chunks of the game. Kaeli is the first partner you take on, but she gets poisoned and leaves the party very quickly. The first demo reel shows you partnering up with her late in the game.



In what will become a common trend, DemoPlay is kitted with every spell in the game. The Specter here is resistant to earth, so it survives Meteor and splits in half.



DemoPlay talks to the giant tree and goes inside, which is where this reel ends. Note the weapon he's rocking -- DemoPlay here has skipped a few sword upgrades.




The second reel shows the game's first dungeon. DemoPlay is at level 25 (highly unlikely but not impossible) and once again has every spell (actually impossible though). DemoPlay approaches the Bone Dragon, but the reel ends before they confront the boss.




The third reel is DemoPlay's utterly banal journey through a couple battlefield rounds and a bit of Windia. This is notable because it spoils the last town in the game, the surrounding overworld, and the identity of your partner for that late stretch of the game. (The pack-in map would have shown Windia, though, and we already saw Kaeli.)

Last edited by Mogri; 04-07-2018 at 06:00 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-07-2018, 01:00 PM
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Low %

Pants
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  #7  
Old 04-07-2018, 01:57 PM
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Low % Pants
Aren't those shorts?
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2018, 01:59 PM
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Level 1 challenge run...waaa? I'm skeptical that the game is beatable with a level 1 MC. Has it been done before?!

Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest, despite having a "easy" reputation (for plenty of good reasons...) is unusually punishing in at least some respects: you only ever have TWO party members, and the status effects can very random and debilitating. This makes winning some boss fights require occasional luck in your favor even if you are a very good player and are at proper experience levels (which has never really bothered anyone in casual runs because you can keep trying over and over without penalty).

Probably more than any other SNES RPG, the nature of MQ battles is one that places a huge value on avoiding having a party member KO'ed. With only one party member left standing it is harder to recover from KO's and the loss of the KO'ed person's turn represents a bigger percentage loss of turns you otherwise would have had.

Wouldn't a level 1 challenge run eventually turn into a solo run with your assigned partner? I'm skeptical that Phoebe will be able to handle all the bosses in the final dungeon without someone to heal her every turn/remove status effects. To all Mystic Quest experts lurking out there, I request you weigh in for us!

Last edited by dosboot; 04-07-2018 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dosboot View Post
Wouldn't a level 1 challenge run eventually turn into a solo run with your assigned partner? I'm skeptical that Phoebe will be able to handle all the final bosses without someone to heal her every turn/remove status effects. To all Mystic Quest experts lurking out there, I request you weigh in for us!
I don't want to steal Mogri's thunder here, but

I suspect the Dark King won't be nearly the roadblock you might expect.
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  #10  
Old 04-07-2018, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
Aren't those shorts?
New name: SHORTS

Wait even better

JORTS
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  #11  
Old 04-07-2018, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
I don't want to steal Mogri's thunder here, but

I suspect the Dark King won't be nearly the roadblock you might expect.
I'm aware there is some brokeness in MQ (but I expect I don't know all of the broken tricks). Off the top of my head, it's something like you can use the Life and Exit spells to kill most enemies and bosses, and using Cure also does nasty damage to the last boss.

Those all feel like bugs or Easter eggs to me though. I'd still like someone to weigh in on my question of whether level 1 is really possible when considered under that kind of context.
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Old 04-07-2018, 03:24 PM
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Level 1.

Name: 0XP.
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2018, 05:59 PM
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Wouldn't a level 1 challenge run eventually turn into a solo run with your assigned partner?
Not to the extent that you're expecting! It's true that you'll lean heavily on everyone past Tristam, but Benjamin is far from useless. For one thing, the damage from your explosives is level-independent.

By my count, Level 1 is up by one vote.
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2018, 07:08 PM
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Level 1, name JAMMIN
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:37 PM
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Level One.

Pants...yeah, sure, Pants is good.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:09 PM
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Level One.

And Benji, the Good Boy.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by dosboot View Post
Level 1 challenge run...waaa? I'm skeptical that the game is beatable with a level 1 MC. Has it been done before?!

Wouldn't a level 1 challenge run eventually turn into a solo run with your assigned partner? I'm skeptical that Phoebe will be able to handle all the bosses in the final dungeon without someone to heal her every turn/remove status effects. To all Mystic Quest experts lurking out there, I request you weigh in for us!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dosboot View Post
I'd still like someone to weigh in on my question of whether level 1 is really possible when considered under that kind of context.
Or maybe don't? Could we maybe, say, enjoy the Let's Play instead and find out together???
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  #18  
Old 04-07-2018, 09:28 PM
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I think I'm way outvoted on this, but Low%. And I don't know why, but the idea of treating the MC as if he's a Digimon is funny to me, so: Benjamon.
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  #19  
Old 04-07-2018, 10:25 PM
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Or maybe don't? Could we maybe, say, enjoy the Let's Play instead and find out together???
I imagine it is up to them! I assume people are allowed to speak freely if they wish. And, say, a group of people energetically speculating on the topic would be no failure of "togetherness", being in fact an embodiment of it!

The way I see it, it would also be no failure of "finding out" either, or to put it simply:

Quote:
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.
i.e., exchanging more speculations on the matter is not going to make me uninterested in witnessing the true reality that unfolds, just like with any LP. (And Mogri himself was willing to participate in these types of exchanges)

Finally, if I may be permitted a little raw sincerity, I felt the need to say all this because I felt your comment was skirting just below the line of saying certain posts would be unwelcome. It felt right for someone else to present the counter view, and hopefully bridge the gap between those two opposite perspectives. And to be totally truthful and raw, I felt a little hurt reading your comment. Saying 'could we maybe enjoy the LP' felt designed to make a certain statement directed towards me without really saying it, namely trying to call out my behavior as disgraceful. Hopefully that wasn't the case.

~

Finally, addressing no one in particular: Mogri's starting post captivated me because it provokes an interesting question that begs an excited response (a response that was surely evident in my initial post). I feel justified in being excited and wanting to talk about it, rather than artificially contain myself by staying silent which just contributes nothing to the discussion. Mogri proposed a vote after all, and to some it is only natural to learn more about what we are voting on (although I dig not feeling this way too, that's cool).
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:32 AM
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Level 1.

Name: 0XP.
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  #21  
Old 04-08-2018, 06:58 AM
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Level 1 baby. I wanna see some Mogri magic.
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  #22  
Old 04-08-2018, 08:20 AM
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Woo, Mogri LP!

I feel like level 1 would be more interesting; low % feels more like something I could actually do myself. No vote on name.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:57 AM
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Level 1 seems like the way to go. I'd rather see exploitations of what's available.

Name: SHORTS made me giggle. Let's do that.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:34 AM
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SHORTS for level 1. BRIEFS for low%
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:43 AM
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Thinking on it further, yeah, I'll change my vote to SHORTS.
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:31 AM
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LEVEL 1

JORTS
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Old 04-08-2018, 10:35 AM
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I'll switch to JORTS, even though I liked mine.
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:20 AM
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I'll only accept JORTS if I'm allowed to also call him CENA.



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Old 04-08-2018, 12:28 PM
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Level 1.

HAZARD, because the manual had its example character named that.
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:46 PM
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Chapter 1: First Things First



The journey of a thousand steps begins with a single mile.

"That doesn't sound quite r--"

Who's running this LP? It's me.

Anyway, in order to start this challenge, I first play through most of the game, stopping just as I pick up Phoebe for the second time. As the last partner in the game, Phoebe has nice stats but few resistances. At least she's immune to Paralyze, Sleep, and Silence. Benjamin has crazy Attack, but that's because I cheated. Speaking of cheats:

Code:
7E04A000
7E04A100
This pair of codes will cause all battles to award no experience. Don't leave it at home!

If you're not into cheating, you might be interested in the more legitimate Low Level Challenge. But maybe not, since due to the way encounters work in this game, that requires extremely precise routing. Take the wrong path through the dungeon, and your challenge is invalidated. Take the right path but fight the wrong encounter for a given enemy, and your challenge is invalidated.

Me? I like the simplicity offered by the level 1 challenge. We'll use the cheat codes, thankyouverymuch.

I mentioned that I attempted this challenge some time ago, eventually stalling out at the Ice Golem, the game's second major boss. I have a few tricks up my sleeve this time that I didn't last time. More on those as they come, though.



Here's the backstory as presented by the manual. Nowhere in the game is the protagonist given a name, but the manual calls him "Benjamin," and so that's the hero's canonical name. Benjamin would later reappear in Theatrythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call -- but little else. He'd make a great Dissidia fighter.



To us, though, Benjamin shall be known as SHORTS. I think PANTS got one more vote, but I'm going to exercise authorial privilege because, like shorts, FFMQ is comfy and easy to wear.



The game opens at a location called the Hill of Destiny, where the screen is shaking, quake-like. The very first line of dialogue is SHORTS exclaiming that his village is gone. Don't expect this to ever be mentioned again; SHORTS doesn't even get an answer from Mysterious Cloud Jerk.

If we take the manual at face value, SHORTS is a nerdy rancher who has somehow come into possession of a sword and was very recently orphaned. This gives us more questions than it answers. But don't forget the FFMQ motto:

*shrug*



We have very little input in this stage of the game. The short version: rocks fall, SHORTS's entire family dies. Press the "B" button!



Completely ignoring SHORTS's question, Mysterious Cloud Jerk takes us to a popular makeout location and gives us a plot dump. Only SHORTS could be the Knight spoken of in prophecy!



But! Suddenly! A monster!

Hilariously, this is one of the most difficult fights in the game for an experienced player, since you have no spells or items, and you have about a 10% chance of losing this battle without anything you can do to avoid it.



Luckily, it's our critical hit that ends the battle.

As you may or may not have noticed, monsters get visible updates when they take enough damage. Regular monsters have one alternate graphic, and anything that's ever a boss (including our friend here) has two.



Mysterious Cloud Jerk keeps being a mysterious cloud jerk. We get our very first *shrug*.



The manuals in non-USA regions name Mysterious Cloud Jerk "White." My name's better, and he never gets named in-game.



Mysterious Cloud Jerk refuses to be of any help. He tells us to follow him to Level Forest then disappears, prompting another *shrug*.


Last edited by Mogri; 04-08-2018 at 08:46 PM.
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*shrug* life , all about the benjamins , bugs life , final fantasy , let's play

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