Tag Archives: playstation 2

Honing My RPG-Skills with Final Fantasy XII

You may recall this past year that I have been discussing with decent regularity my general incompetence when it comes to RPGs.  For the longest time, I have been employing the “beat it senseless” method of defeating my foes.  When that fails, I proceed to plan B, the “level up a whole bunch and try beating it senseless again” method, which, in all honesty, works far more often than it has any right to.  Nevertheless, I was rather ashamed of myself and my apparent lack of skills in a genre I should have been more than familiar with by now.

Well, folks, I think that’s all beginning to change.  Remember my previous post about my return to Final Fantasy 12?  Last I left you all, I was tasked with travelling through Golmore Jungle in order to visit some dude with a fancy title who lives on a mountain.  I do understand the story thus far better than that sentence suggests, but in order to be more specific, it would require looking online for various correct spellings, which I feel is unnecessary.  If you’ve played the game, then you know what I’m talking about.  If not, then they would be no more than mere words to you anyway. Continue reading Honing My RPG-Skills with Final Fantasy XII

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A Triumphant Return to Final Fantasy XII

For the past several years, I have intended to return to Final Fantasy XII for my second playthrough.  But, as is often the case, what I intend to do and what actually happens are two very different things.  I repeatedly had other games to play, keeping the twelfth numbered installment in the Final Fantasy series on the shelf.  Plus, I have to admit that I always had a bit of a grudge against the game.  I remembered being pretty apathetic towards the characters, I wasn’t very fond of a politics-related storyline, and…  Now this last one is kind of silly, but…I thought the game was too big.

Too big, eh?  I like large open worlds to explore far more than I like cramped or linear stages with little freedom to move around.  I love searching through every nook and cranny and discovering new things, a task that is, naturally, far more rewarding in a large world than a small one.  And yet, I recall several times in the past saying I didn’t like FF12 because it was too big.  What’s the deal?

Gee, I sure hate that this game gives me more than my money’s worth. Continue reading A Triumphant Return to Final Fantasy XII

Day 14: Current (or Most Recent) Gaming Wallpaper

The newest of the 30-day video game topics is my current or most recent video game-themed wallpaper.  As much as I would like to have actual video game wallpaper, I’m assuming they must mean my computer’s desktop.  And due to my obvious level of obsession with all things gaming, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I do indeed have a video game desktop.

I actually went through many different images for my desktop in the semi-distant past.  I…don’t remember most of them, but I do recall having a screenshot of the secret ending of Donkey Kong Country 2, where the Kongs are gazing at the sunset, along with a Jak 2 screensaver.  That’s right, there was a Jak 2 screensaver, which I earned by completing this odd, little game on the game’s official web site.  It had Jak sitting in jail, looking bored, while bugs crawled around and the sky outside would change depending on the time of day.  Kind of…weird, to say the last. Continue reading Day 14: Current (or Most Recent) Gaming Wallpaper

Day 11: Gaming System of Choice

Day 11 in the 30 days’ worth of video game topics I began writing about…probably over a year ago is my gaming system of choice.  It’s a pretty straightforward question, and that is why I want to write about more than said console’s amazing selection of games and the other obvious things one would typically think about.

As you may know, I grew up with Nintendo and have owned every console they have released since the SNES.  It is no doubt rather ironic, then, that my favorite console does not come from Nintendo.  While my childhood consisted of Donkey Kong Country and The Legend of Zelda, everything changed when I finally made the decision, around 2003, to buy my first non-Nintendo console, the PlayStation 2. Continue reading Day 11: Gaming System of Choice

Top Songs from KH2.5

Some time ago, I took a break from the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix, which wasn’t released in my part of the globe until about a decade after its release in Japan.  While I enjoyed the game immensely, I never could come up with a good topic in order to write about it, so I put off a post for the game.  You see, I beat the game, but I still had more extras to complete, and I was growing a bit tired of this good, but large, adventure.  I ended up quitting for a time to play Ni no Kuni, and then Portal 1 and 2, and then Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns….  So, in the end, I didn’t end up returning to this game as soon as I planned.  And so I decided I may as well at least get the music post over and done with.  What a good attitude I have.  And so I share with you all my top five songs from Kingdom Hearts 2 (with only one exclusively from Final Mix). Continue reading Top Songs from KH2.5

The Duck’s First Novel

Hello, everyone. I have something rather nifty to share with all of you, and I completely forgot about it until now. I finished my first novel. Now, in all honesty, it is, in fact, a fan fiction novel, but I still think it was a pretty cool accomplishment. This story is fan fiction for the awesome video game series “Jak and Daxter”, and it stars the main villains from the first game, Gol and Maia. You see, these wicked siblings were not always evil, but were made that way due to studying Dark Eco, a very corrupting substance, for far too long. This stuff warped their minds, which resulted in their decision to try and flood the world with Dark Eco so that they could remake it in their own image. Fortunately, they failed and ended up trapped inside the very Dark Eco silo they were trying to open.

In case you didn't believe me, here's the title.
In case you didn’t believe me, here’s the title.

And while it was implied in the “Jak 3” guide that the two were still alive centuries later during the events of the later games and could eventually return, this never happened, and how much can you really rely on what a guide says anyway? Nevertheless, I wanted so very badly to see another game with them in it, but since it appears that’s never going to happen, I decided it was time I took matters into my own hands. Gola and Maia would return, but it would be in the form of a novel I would write, proving all the more that I am an obsessive lunatic. Continue reading The Duck’s First Novel

I Don’t Have the Patience for Multiple Endings

As I’ve been saying, I have been busy catching up on a bunch of old games I was told were the duck’s quack, and one game I beat rather recently was “Chrono Trigger”, a game made by the same developers as “Final Fantasy”. The story involves our heroes traveling through time in their efforts to prevent the monster Lavos from bursting forth from the surface of the planet and causing the apocalypse.  While I would have liked to have had a better main villain than a monster, I definitely see why people have so many good things to say about it.

What I think I loved most about this game, aside from the absence of random battles, was the fact that your actions had an impact on what happened.  That’s what I always thought RPG’s were supposed to do, but more often than not, you really get no more say in the direction of the plot than what your character’s name is and what sword they tote around.  But, this game actually gives you many optional sidequests you can complete that will change the future and the game’s ending, as well. Continue reading I Don’t Have the Patience for Multiple Endings

The Duck Dreams of PlayStation Characters

I had a rather short dream the night of 8/7/14, but I wanted to write about it anyway because it related to one of my favorite games of all time, “Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy”. In this dream, the game apparently had a scene with Gol and Maia, the main villains, that got cut from the game, and I remember I was playing the game and exploring this place that was supposed to be Gol and Maia’s citadel, but it was more like a Medieval castle.  I remember being in this hallway, and there were these platforms that would only appear in the wall for a limited time, and you had to climb up them to get through this doorway.  I tried multiple times to climb up them as quickly as I could, and I eventually made it through the doorway, which ended up leading outside Continue reading The Duck Dreams of PlayStation Characters

Day 9: Saddest Game Scene

Today’s 30 day video game topic (oh, my gosh, this is taking me far longer than 30 days) is #9, the saddest game scene, which is really right up my alley (if I had an alley, but I don’t, as I live in a neighborhood, not a city). I love sad things in games. Some of my best gaming moments involve me weeping for all I’m worth (which is about 7, maybe 8, bucks) because I like emotional stuff. Crying makes me happy. It really does. And so I had fun thinking about what my topic would be for this post, though I must admit, I am going to cheat a little. (By looking up the answers? No. Not that kind of cheating.) Because I have two scenes, actually, but only one that I count as my official topic for this post.

But first, my unofficial topic, a scene from the awesome SNES game, “Illusion of Gaia”. For a reason even I can’t comprehend, Will’s dream makes me cry every single time. Without fail. This scene involves Will dreaming about being back home, and he goes downstairs and talks to his deceased mother. The music is really sad and depressing, and she asks him if he thinks the approaching comet is a good thing or a bad thing. And that’s it. And it is really amazing how effective this is at making me sob like a duckling. Continue reading Day 9: Saddest Game Scene

Day 7: Favorite Video Game Couple

Today’s 30 day video game post is number seven, my favorite video game couple (which is perfect for Valentine’s Day, no?).  Now I am not normally the type that is into love stories, as I have mentioned in previous posts, but video games are an exception, probably for two reasons.  One, because I love them.  And two, because never have I found a video game that focused mainly on the love story more than anything else.  There aren’t any romance video games, as far as I can tell, though there are certainly books and movies of the romance genre, which is far too upsetting to me, as I can only stand it in small doses and only when it isn’t too…icky.

And so, despite this normally being a topic that repels me, I was able to think it over with no gagging whatsoever.  Yay.  And several couples came to mind, Cloud and Aerith from “FFVII”, Yuna and Tidus from “FFX” (and even Vincent and Lucrecia from “FFVII”, which is not a favorite, but it came to mind when I realized all three of these couples ended tragically).  I even thought of Kafei and Anju from “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask”, a couple that will always have a special place in my heart simply because I had to do so much darn work in that game to make it work out in the end.  But, no, those are not my favorite couples.  Why did I even bother listing them in the first place?  I don’t know.  What’s it to you?  Ahem, my favorite game couple…contains spoilers for “Super Paper Mario”, so read at your own risk.

Yes, my favorite couple is not one of those more well-known pairings from famous “Final Fantasy” games (alliteration), but from a “Mario” game.  A “Paper Mario” game, but still.  This couple is one which remains secret until later in the game.  Oh, we know this couple exists, as we get little snippets of dialogue whenever we complete a chapter, but the people involved in this particular love story are not known to us at first.  One of them is injured, while the other nurses them back to health.  One of them is from the Tribe of Darkness and is shocked to find this fact does not bother the other.  And they meet with opposition from a father that doesn’t approve of the union.  It’s really quite typical, really, but it kept my attention because of the mystery surrounding it.  Who were these people?  Who was this Blumiere and Timpani?  And how does it relate to the game?

Eventually we find that Blumiere now goes by the name of Count Bleck, this game’s main antagonist, who was not always evil like we see now.  We know his heart aches for this Timpani, whoever she is, and despite the fact that this fiend is trying to destroy all dimensions with the Void, you can’t help but feel a bit of pity for him.  This Timpani was lost to him when his father banished her to wander the space between dimensions due to him not wanting his son to marry someone of another race from theirs, and though Blumiere looked for her, he never found her, and his anguish caused him to create the Void in an attempt to destroy all worlds, worlds that are too terrible to be allowed to exist, if something like that could happen.  A bit rash, I must admit, but his story is still a tragic one, nonetheless.

Well, we do end up finding out the fate of his beloved, and she turns out to have been with you all along, though unrecognizable from her previous form.  Mario’s sidekick, Tippi, turns out to be the lost Timpani.  Once an ordinary woman, she was found by Merlon, near death after her wandering between dimensions, and the only way he could save her was to turn her into a Pixl, though this also caused her to lose her memory of her past.  Her memory does finally return to her towards the end of the game, however, and she and Count Bleck are reunited, at which time he has a change of heart.  This is not enough to stop the Void, however, as someone else still wishes to see all worlds destroyed, and after a nice, epic final boss battle (necessary to a proper love story, wouldn’t you say?), Tippi and the Count find there is only one way to fully stop the Void, which was created by the Chaos Heart when Count Bleck forced Bowser and Peach to marry at the beginning of the game.  This solution (a rather corny one, but hey, we’ve been collecting Pure Hearts the whole game through, so I guess it’s unavoidable at this point), in so many words, is true love, basically.  The former Timpani and Blumiere marry, at which point the Void is destroyed (I rhymed), but the couple cease to exist.

And so Count Bleck has redeemed himself, as Tippi and he sacrificed themselves to stop the Void (he really shouldn’t have created it in the first place, though).  Things are both sad and triumphant, as the two seem to have been wiped from existence, but at the same time, all worlds are safe from the Void again.  However, we find things to not be so sad, after all, as we then get a short scene with the silhouettes of the Count and a certain woman in the distance, on a grassy hill in a beautiful place, where they stay for a short time before they walk over the hill and are lost to sight.  So it seems that, things did finally work out for Blumiere and Timpani in the end, after all.

So it may not be the best love story out there or the best couple, really.  But, I still enjoyed playing this game and wondering who these two people were.  It was the most interesting part of the game for me, as I wanted to know so badly who they were and what would happen to them next.  And how shocked I was to find this couple was the main villain and one of the main protagonists!  So this couple turned out to be my favorite, both due to the mystery of this particular story and the two people involved in it, the sweet Tippi and the charming Count Bleck (if you can get over his attempts to kill everyone, that is).  This is a love story I can handle.

Favorite Duck Couple, Couple of Ducks