Final Fantasy V: Andrew Parties With A Four Job Fiesta (Finale) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Final Fantasy V: Andrew Parties With A Four Job Fiesta (Finale)

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Welcome back to this play for charity, pay for death, #Classic run of Final Fantasy V with the Four Job Fiesta.  After overconfidence resulted in a multitude of wipes, my journey through the second world of Final Fantasy V was relatively uneventful.  This time, I was able to play until the bitter end.  How well did this go?  Slowly, for reasons we'll get to starting...right now!

84-FFVWhen last we left the crew, Exdeath was defeated and the two worlds merged into a single body.  Lenna and Faris have to partake in royal celebrations, featuring Faris' new dress and Butz's embarrassed attraction, but Cara and Butz don't feel like their work is complete.  As a player, I can't help but notice I can still control characters and access the menu screen, so they're probably right.

85-FFVOn the negative side of this arrangement, I'm going to be putting out piddling damage for the near future.  Butz ensures I'll be borderline kill-proof, but Cara already hits for less than Galuf did, so battles are going to be wars of attrition.

86-FFVReturning from FFIV is our old friend the Antlion.  The Antlion is harmless as the development team had the good sense to realize they may be saddling the player with two characters who may not be the best damage dealers.  So, really, my strategy here generates a common theme throughout almost all of world 3.  I attack, and heal, attack, and heal, attack, and heal.  Some bosses will challenge this strategy, but since I have a White Mage on my team I don't have to get too creative.

87-FFVShortly after defeating the Antlion, Faris catches up to us and comes back into the party.  With the Monk's naturally high HP generation and the passive bonus I've saddled her with she'll be my meat shield for most of the rest of the game.  I can't draw attacks to her, but she's my insurance policy if half my team goes down for whatever reason.

88-FFVNow, I've been skipping most of the plot with these images, but that's going to change with parts of this update because it's where things go from "Gilgamesh you so silly" to "Everyone is wearing their pants on their head."  Take this moment for example, where Butz and company pay a visit to the wise turtle who helped them through the second world.  The turtle is stuck on his back and can't help until Butz pushes him over, and as the turtle explains the predicament they're in Cara starts complaining about pain from a splinter.  So, naturally, the splinter causes so much pain she falls over as the splinter...uh...becomes a full limb and starts floating.

89-FFV"I had disguised myself as a little splinter, waiting for this moment..."

Beautiful.  Just beautiful.

90-FFVAnd then the turtle calls an emergency meeting of the world's heroes and academics because that is also beautiful.  I love how wacky FFV gets.

91-FFVAnyway, the turtle guides us to an ancient prophecy which states Exdeath can be defeated with the help of 12 legendary weapons.  They are opened in sets of 3 after obtaining a stone tablet through dungeon crawling.  Boss turtle directs us to a pyramid housing the first tablet.  Before we can enter we face the first set of Gargoyles.  Every one of the stone tablet dungeons has this pair as a set of guardians.  They don't hit for much, but the real trick is taking them down at the same time.  Thankfully, you get a bit of leeway for just what "at the same time" means, so if you whittle them down to roughly the same health you can kill one then the other the next turn.

92-FFVAs dungeons go, the pyramid is FFV's best.  That's not saying much, since they're all pretty straightforward, but even compared to similar dungeons from Lufia II (the gold standard of JRPG dungeon construction), it's a lot of fun.  Buttons start and stop different flows of sand which grant entry to each part of the pyramid, pits and hallways close and shut based on your movements and actions, and treasure is always rewarded with a nice monster to the face.  The enemies here hit surprisingly hard, and I was prepared for a wipe a few times, but ultimately I got through the pyramid without a single wipe.


Immediately after the pyramid we go to a wise old tree and fight Melusine.  She possessed Lenna at first, but after some magical shenanigans Melusine is separated from Lenna.  This is a long boss battle, and not one I can speed up.  The problem is Melusine shifts her elemental nullification, so she's only weak to one element at a time.  I don't have any elemental attacks, so I could just punch her.  But while she has a specific elemental weakness she is borderline-immune to physical attacks.  Thankfully, critical hits still break through, and she sometimes shifts to a phase where she has no elemental weakness so physical attacks go back to doing normal damage. Eventually, she falls, and I get to one of the first game-breaking set ups I can actually use.

94-FFVWhen Lenna rejoins the party the first thing I do is equip her with the special Chicken Knife.  If you look at her attack, you see she's not able to do much damage with it as is.  But the Chicken Knife has a special attribute...

95-FFVEvery time you run away, the Chicken knife has a chance to gain an attack point.  The opposite of this is the Brave Blade, and you can only choose one or the other.  So the Chicken Knife starts low, but can become amazing while the Brave Blade starts amazing and can become terrible.  Since I have no one in my party who can use the Brave Blade the choice between it or the Chicken Knife was easy, so I get to running.

96-FFVAn indeterminate amount of time later and Lenna is in possession of one of the most powerful weapons in the game.  Now, there's another drawback to the Chicken Knife, as you have a 25% chance of running away when attacking the enemy using Fight.  The key action here is "using Fight" because if you use it as part of another attack it negates the chance.  So, since Lenna has been equipped with Capture, which damages the enemy while making a Steal attempt,  I can use it without restriction.  Lenna is now the equal of Faris in terms of general damage output, though Faris can push 10k if she double crits.

97-FFVNow that we're loaded with an amazing attack and tons of upgraded armor, we can start hitting the other tablets.  After the first they're all optional, but they also unlock different benefits as time goes on.  With the Chicken Knife, Faris' fists, and Butz's healing, the dungeons from this point on are a cakewalk.  The first optional dungeon on our list is a wind tower redux, and the crew scales it easily.

98-FFVThe boss of wind tower part deux is so easy it could have been a world 1 boss.  Stalker arrives in four parts, and only one of them can take damage.  After any successful damage Stalker will rotate which one of its parts can be damaged.  This is just another war of attrition and, since you can buy MP-restoring Ethers from the second world on, Butz just tosses out healing while I patiently whittle down each one of the Stalkers.

99-FFVOur success unlocks one of the "I'm going to win" attacks.  We'll get to it soon, but this is why the optional dungeons of world 3 are so important.

100-FFVI decide that with two offensive powerhouses and Butz about to join them it would be prudent to at least unlock a legendary weapon Cara can use.  As you lay down each tablet you walk up to the weapon you want and can preview it before selecting one of three.  I can't use most of the items in here, but I'm able to get a cane for Butz which boosts his magic and a dagger for Cara which has a chance to instakill on a successful attack.  Aside from some armor shifts, this is the offensive layout I'll be using the rest of the game.

101-FFVFurther boosting my win steamroller are a couple of spells for Butz.  Life2 is a full restore spell for fallen party members, and Dispel will allow me to remove the buffs many of the upcoming bosses will have.

102-FFVFlush with new magic, I decided to round out Butz's arsenal and scale the Fork Tower.  I have to obtain the ultimate White and Black Mage spells at the same time, so the crew has to be split up yet again.  I go with team raw damage of Faris and Cara in one group and team attrition of Lenna and Butz in the other.

103-FFVThe Minotaur here is the source of my first wipe (+$10 to donation).  Cara and Faris can put out a lot of damage at this point, but the Minotaur can respond in kind and wipe them out quickly with no healer.  Thankfully, I started picking up Hi-Potions between each dungeon crawl and after putting Faris on permanent damage duty while Cara uses Hi-Potions and Elixers as needed.  My next round went much smoother, and the Minotaur went down.

104-FFVDefeating the Minotaur gives me access to a spell I'll be using in almost every fight, be it boss or normal encounter, for the rest of the game.  Almost nothing from this point to the end of the game is immune to Holy damage, and most of the enemies are weak to it.  Unfortunately, I can't use it when we switch to the other tower (since they're taking place at the same time).  But, soon, everything will fall.

105-FFVOmniscient here is an annoying fight.  If you deal any damage to him directly he resets the fight.  This makes wipes nearly impossible, but caught me in a frustrating loop because I can't one-shot it with Lenna or Butz, and any time Lenna hit Omniscient I'd go right back to the beginning.  There are two options here, one is hoping you can afflict Omniscient with a Mute spell to render his magic attacks and resetting abilities void.  The problem with this is Mute has to be refreshed since it will wear off eventually, and Omniscient will still respond by resetting the fight if you do any damage.

Option two, and the one I scored my kill with, is to afflict Omniscient with Berserk.  If successful, Omniscient is locked into using physical attacks and only physical attacks the rest of the fight, as Berserk does not wear off the way Mute does.  The drawback is Omniscient has high attack, but with Butz on this side of the tower I can use Image to negate those physical attacks while Lenna carves Omniscient up with the Chicken Knife.  Omniscient dies, and I continue on now armed with Holy and Flare.

106-FFVKilling the bosses of Fork Tower also unlocks the dungeon lab we found the airship.  Cid, amusingly, seems to have been caught in the gears of the dungeon lab since we left world 1.  After rescuing Cid, Mid comes back, and the two get to work upgrading our current airship.  Now it can go underwater in addition to over the land.

107-FFVOur new underwater capability takes the crew to a fire cave.  Other than the ground constantly damaging the party, there's not much else to this place.  So we fight through and arrive at the next tablet boss.

108-FFVGrumpy pig trio here is the most annoying boss so far.  Like the Gargoyles, they have to be killed at the same time.  The window for death is smaller than the Gargoyles though, as I could sometimes get two additional attacks off before they reformed, but here one of the trio may come back while I'm waiting for my crew.

This required a lot more finesse and luck than earlier fights, because they also have a nasty multi-debuff attack which can turn someone to stone and mute them at the same time.  So if Butz gets targeted, the rest of the trio's attacks will kill everyone else quickly.  I wipe once (+$10 to donation), then take a defensively-minded approach.  If any health is lost at all, or if anyone gets turned to stone, I cure that immediately then get back to my balanced attacks.  It takes a long time, but after about a half an hour the trio goes down and I obtain the third tablet.

109-FFVWith one more tablet to go, we continue on with the submarine into a hidden path which leads to a waterfall cave.   Nothing to note here, just a lot of walkin' and fightin'.

110-FFVThe relatively uneventful nature of the waterfall cave continues on to the conclusion, where a monster from Exdeath challenges us and then is curb stomped by Leviathan here.  Leviathan is an optional boss, but completely useless for me because I don't have a Summoner.  So I give Leviathan a polite "thank you" for killing the boss for me, exit the cave, pick up the remaining legendary weapons, and go straight to the final dungeon.

111-FFVWhat follows is a lot of walking and fighting through the final dungeon, which is a mostly palette-swapped version of dungeons I've already gone through.  So, with no further ado.

112-FFVBoss#1: Butz casts Holy, Faris punches, Lenna slices with the Chicken Knight, and Cara throws out Hi-Potions as needed.  If the crew gets too low, Butz takes a break from blasting the boss with Holy, and heals everyone.  It dies quickly.

113-FFVBoss#2: Butz casts Holy, Faris punches, Lenna slices with the Chicken Knight, and Cara throws out Hi-Potions as needed.  If the crew gets too low, Butz takes a break from blasting the boss with Holy, and heals everyone.  It dies quickly.

114-FFVBoss#3: Butz casts Holy, Faris punches, Lenna slices with the Chicken Knight, and Cara throws out Hi-Potions as needed.  If the crew gets too low, Butz takes a break from blasting the boss with Holy, and heals everyone.  It dies quickly.

115-FFVBoss#4: Butz casts Holy, Faris punches, Lenna slices with the Chicken Knight, and Cara throws out Hi-Potions as needed.  If the crew gets too low, Butz takes a break from blasting the boss with Holy, and heals everyone.  It dies quickly.

116-FFVBoss#5: Butz casts Holy, Faris punches, Lenna slices with the Chicken Knight, and Cara throws out Hi-Potions as needed.  If the crew gets too low, Butz takes a break from blasting the boss with Holy, and heals everyone.  It dies quickly.

117-FFVBoss#6: Butz casts Holy, Faris punches, Lenna slices with the Chicken Knight, and Cara throws out Hi-Potions as needed.  If the crew gets too low, Butz takes a break from blasting the boss with Holy, and heals everyone.  It dies quickly.

118-FFVFinally, after the gauntlet and palette-swapped dungeons, we're a the last stop.  The design is a bit disappointing as the crystalline structures are similar to the moon conclusion of FFIV.  It's still nice to look at, but is a pale shade of what came before.

119-FFVIn a plot twist I like a lot, Gilgamesh was banished to this zone of crystal and darkness after our final confrontation in world 2.  He doesn't do much of anything, just stands there while letting you pummel him, and after exchanging some words with your party he flees.  It's an odd fight, but it will pay off in a few moments.

120-FFVLocated in the final dungeon are two optional super bosses.  This is technically the second of the two, but I forgot to grab a screengrab of the first.  Why am I not fighting them?  Because, even at the level I'm at now, I would have to grind to survive the fights.  This wipe here?  It happened after the first attack (+$10 to donation), so I won't be trying it again.

121-FFVReturning to the boss grind results in one of the only memorable fights of the gauntlet.  Necrofobia here is surrounded by four Barrier monsters which reflect magic and null all damage to Necrofobia before they die.  Because I possess the fully upgraded Chicken Knife and Faris' fists, the fight goes quickly.  Butz is mostly on healing duty since each of the Barrier monsters gets an attack on top of Necrofobia, but their damage output isn't enough to topple anyone.

122-FFVDo enough damage to Necrofobia after killing the Barriers and Gilgamesh comes back.  In a blaze of glory, he decides to sacrifice himself for the honor of your crew instead of continuing to serve Exdeath.  We're denied the killing blow on Necrofobia, but Gilgamesh's sacrifice opens up the last save point and chance to heal up before Exdeath.

123-FFVSpeaking of which, it's a short jaunt from the last save point to the pinnacle of Exdeath's dungeon.  He gives a standard supervillain rant about his power and what he's going to do to the world before introducing one last bit of weirdness to FFV.

124-FFVHe turns into a giant tree.  Yes, the final boss of FFV is a gigantic tree.  To be completely fair, FFV does a great job of making the theme of the natural mixing with the artificial or unnatural throughout the entire game.  This is to say nothing of Exdeath's tendency to turn into wood-based products to spy on the heroes.  So, there's a precedent, but it doesn't change the final boss is a gigantic tree.

125-FFVAnyway, since Exdeath has received the powers of the void he makes quick work of the crews.  But, in true Final Fantasy tradition, other heroes arrive to give the crew the boost they need to fight Exdeath.

126-FFVHere we are, floating in space against a gigantic tree with two faces as the fate of the universe hangs in the balance.  Exdeath's initial tree form is not much to worry about.  He has the standard array of debuffing skills many of the previous bosses did, and a decently sized health pool.  There's not much to this part of the fight, and Exdeath whines loudly as he wonders why the power of the void abandoned him.

127-FFVThe real fight starts against Neo Exdeath after chopping down the tree.  This is much more painful and in-line with what you'd expect for a final fight in a RPG.  New Exdeath has four different sections, each one with it's own painful attack.  The crew can be hit with strong magic, physical attacks, a single-target multi-debuff attack, a party-wide massive attack which does a good chunk of damage and saps HP, and (worst of all) a party-wide debuff and damage attack.  The final one is so terrible because I can end up with two zombies, one statue, and one barely alive party member after a single cast.

Anyway, I'm not even able to take down one of the four parts before Neo Exdeath wipes me out (+$10 to donation).  I decided to grind out a few levels and gave the fight another shot at level 49 but it still wasn't enough and I died again (+$10 to donation).  Since I forgot to throw my face at the other optional superboss, I decided to backtrack and give it a shot.

128-FFVWell, this position looks familiar.  Omega didn't kill me as quickly as Shinryu did, but it's of cold comfort that Omega took two turns to wipe out my party instead of one (+$10 to donation).

130-FFVFinally, after grinding to about level 53, I struck success.  Exdeath went down fast and I was able to buff everyone before New Exdeath came out.  I took a cautious approach with Neo Exdeath this time, attacking only when my party was at 2k+ HP at the end of each round.  One by one the four parts of the organic void tree fell, and Neo Exdeath fell into the void he craved.

131-FFVThe cycle of life and death continues into the ending, where we watch as all the great supporting players get a quick nod before the credits roll.  In one last bit of adorable, Butz's chocobo Boco and his wife have children.


There's the kill team folks, and now time for the donation.


Four Job Thoughts

I have a newfound respect for LP'ers.  This took a lot of work, and trying to balance this with my other reviews and new video game writing was difficult.  I'm unlikely to participate in the Four Job Fiesta to the same extent I did this time, but I'll definitely be doing it again next year.  I knew this run would be successful after I saw I was assigned a White Mage, but the lack of any kind of flexibility or creative thinking was a drawback.  This is one of the problems of a #Natural run, because every character is locked into one role with one set of abilities and that's it.  For next years I'll do a proper run, same criteria for the donation, and skip the blogging.

Until next year!


Posted by Andrew

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