Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta Challenge – For Child’s Play (Part 5)

Welcome back to my Four Job Fiesta, where I have quite a long update because I took a lot of screenshots. Today I get my fourth and final job too! As ever, this run is dedicated to the Child’s Play organisation, which receives $15 if I succeed, $30 if I fail, and $10 for each bonus boss I beat. Since I’m playing the Advance version of this game, I’ve decided to go into the added bonus content, and I’ll also be attempting to beat the upgraded versions of Omega and Shinryu and Enuo, each providing another $10 for Child’s Play.

God help me.

But please consider donating to them yourself!

Adamantoise 1

Today’s update begins with an immediate need for an upgrade to the airship we just got because we can’t fly directly to the fortress in the sky – the Ronkan Ruins, where the Earth Crystal is, necessitating picking up some adamantite from the meteor from the beginning of the game. And a tortoise doesn’t like that very much. The Adamantoise isn’t a huge deal though. He does hit very hard, but it’s nothing I can’t outheal, and he’s weak to Ice, so Spellblade makes him easy prey. I do love filler bosses. With that taken care of, it’s on to the Ronkan Ruins themselves, which are, for some reason a) flying and b) guarded by big badass cannons.

Flame Thrower 1 Flame Thrower 2

Frankly the cannons are only really a threat if they come in a mixture of Rocket Launchers (whose only attack takes you down to 1/4 of your health) and the above Flame Throwers whose… Flame Thrower… attack isn’t overly damaging. They’re all weak to lightning though, and my Ninjas have a stupid amount of scrolls to throw.

Soul Cannon 1 Soul Cannon 2

The Soul Cannon is slightly more threatening, and is another potential roadblock. Because I have scrolls to throw at it as well as Thundara Spellblade and White Magic, I can very easily beat it in a damage race though. The Soul Cannon’s gimmick is charging up for about 10 seconds then firing its Beam Cannon. At this stage of the game, it’ll do about half your health and inflict Sap. Always fun. Without reliable ways of exploiting its lightning damage or recovering from its assault, the Soul Cannon can be a considerable problem for Fiesta participants, but one who is still defeatable – I saw one participant exploit the Bard’s Hide ability to dodge the attack since it’s so well-telegraphed and pop out to attack afterwards before hiding again. Clever. The Fiesta really does force creativity sometimes.

Ronkan Ruins 1 R. Ruins 2

The Ronkan Ruins mark another step up in difficulty for the game as a whole, but my scroll-spamming is a major help here. The Ra Mages will cast second-tier spells against you, Ronkan Knights tank your attacks well, Enchanted Fans spam White Wind to heal their groups and Aera against you, Lamias inflict status ailments on you, or will just kill you in one hit with 1000 Needles and then there’s the Hydra and the Ghidra…

R. Ruins 3 R. Ruins 4

These two enemies from the bottom floors of the ruins can really ruin your day (Eh? Ehhhhh? 😉 ) with their powerful Lightning spells, Poison Breath and absorption of elements – especially the Ghidra. They can also take one hell of a beating. I exploited their vulnerability to Confuse and Silence to take them down, though I forgot that the Ghidra is undead, so I could’ve killed it in one hit with the Raise spell. Whatever.

Archeoavis 1

That brings us neatly to the boss, Archeoaevis. He is a dick, with quite high physical defence and four forms. Not that the game actually tells you when he’s going through each form. His physical attacks are mildly painful. Fortunately each of my frontliners has something that gives them a fair chance of dodging (Shields, the Main Gauche, Elven Mantles). He can also confuse characters, so it’s a good thing I have the Esuna spell. Archeoaevis spends most of his time casting Blaze, which of course, inflicts Sap. Again. Yes, this is a trend with bosses. The “gimmick” with the boss is that he uses Wall Change to switch his elemental weaknesses up. He didn’t do this at all during my battle with him. Meaning he stayed without weakness for the entire thing. Cheater. Speaking of which!

Archeoavis 2

I lied when I said he had four forms. The fifth form is where he starts casting the nasty Maelstrom spell, knocking the party down to single digits. Cura spam is my solution. Bartz and Faris do nothing but cast Cura from here while Lenna and Galuf do the heavy lifting. This makes sure that when he does cast Maelstrom, our recovery is quick enough that he can’t take advantage of it and knock anyone out.

It proves effective.

It proves effective.

Despite the whole killing the boss thing, the Earth Crystal still gets broken for some reason, releasing the seal on Exdeath. Oops. At least Galuf gets his memory back!

Memories

Yes, he does this by throwing a question mark above his head away. I love this game. Oh, and then the ruins explode.

Look! Decent capture! I'm the BEST

Look! Decent capture! I’m the BEST

But nobody is here for the plot, because now I have my fourth job. The Earth Crystal jobs are a little bland in my opinion. Chemist is certainly overpowered if you know what you’re doing, but it’s not a class I enjoy. Samurai and Dragoon are quite fun to mess around with, but fairly basic. Samurai dodges and throws money at people, Dragoon jumps out of the way of things. They’re good, but not flashy. I didn’t get any of those.

Dancer

I just wanted to show that this line exists.

I just wanted to show that this line exists.

My final job is the Dancer, probably the least powerful of this bunch, and certainly the most flimsy. Dancer doesn’t have much defence or good equipment options. There are two big gimmicks here – the ability to equip the Ribbon headgear, protecting against nearly all status, while also providing a nice all-round stat buff and the Dance command. This has a 25% chance of confusing an enemy, 25% chance of draining HP, 25% chance of draining MP and 25% of doing 4x normal damage. A bit too random for my liking to be honest. Offensive equipment is also limited to knives, which are rather weak, and only do full damage from the front row (same with Dance), so I can’t stick the Dancer in back for protection without sacrificing damage output.

I can still definitely beat the game with this setup, it’s just going to take slightly more strategy now. Which is a good thing in all honesty. Anyway, now that I have all four jobs for my four characters-

Farewell

Oh, right. Galuf leaves for now. Umm…

Well, no matter. I go to Jachol Cave again to do a little ABP grinding. Bartz becomes my Dancer for now, Lenna goes Ninja and Faris is a Mystic Knight. All eventually get White Magic as their secondary, and believe me, that’s necessary.

Status 1

That’s the post-grind. Now then, the party wants to go find Galuf, so getting to his world requires… something with the adamantite and the meteors I dunno it isn’t explained very well. This requires three filler bosses! One of which causes my first party wipe, so I end up fighting them all twice. I forgot to save before each, yes.

Purobolo 1 Purobolo 2 Purobolo 3

The Purobolos are first, and are easily dispatched by throwing two scrolls at them. Their gimmick is that upon dying, each Purobolo will cast Arise, which revives all the dead ones. However, killing them all at once means they all cast Arise while still technically alive? I don’t really get how it works, but it means they fail. If you can’t kill them all at once though, they only have enough MP to cast Arise once each and have about 2000 HP, so it’s still not too hard a fight. Unless they blow up on you while they have high health. They didn’t though, so meh.

Titan 1 Titan 2 Titan 3 Titan 4

Titan is slightly more problematic. He hits HARD and has adequate defence. The biggest threat is his Earth Shaker ability, which he’s using in that third screenshot. It damn near kills my whole party, so Cura spam is a must. Apparently I could’ve really trivialised Titan by going back to the North Mountain and Confusing a Gaelicat, so that it would cast Float on my party, nullifying Earth Shaker. Oh well. Titan’s big dick move is that he casts Earth Shaker when he dies as well, so if you kill him with less than full health, you’re gambling. It took out Bartz both times I did this fight. At least after the fight, Titan is nice enough to submit to our will and let us summon him… But I have no Summoner.

DEATH

The Manticore is the last of the three filler bosses and he is a complete tool. Titan but with more options and no way of trivialising him with a Float spell. The Manticore will attack physically, but he’s more likely to use Aqua Breath, which is exceptionally painful and Frost, which isn’t quite as bad, but inflicts Sap.

Manticore 1 Manticore 2 Manticore 3

I do manage to come out on top the second time around, but only through patience and Cura spam. You may be noticing patterns in my boss strategies and Square’s techniques for making bosses painful. But with that, all three meteorites are cleared and it’s off to Galuf’s world.

Sword Dance

I took this for two reasons. Firstly to show off Sword Dance, which is the Dancer’s best way of dealing damage without a subcommand and to show the Pao. When you land on Galuf’s world, you land on an island you can’t move from. Progressing the story requires using a Tent. These Paos, the only enemy you’ll find here will always drop Tents. Game design! I could farm these for a while, but that feels unnecessary. I didn’t cap it, but I actually had Dancer Bartz beat the Abductor you’re supposed to lose to here. He confused him with Tempting Tango and then drained the life out of him. See, Dancers are awesome. Sometimes. But the plot intervenes and makes me open a chest full of knockout gas instead so I can get captured, meaning it’s Galuf to the rescue!

Galuf alone

I probably should’ve given Galuf both Moonring Blades as soon as he found the party’s equipment and stuck him in back, but it really wasn’t necessary, especially since he had White Magic as his secondary. This came in handy against everybody’s favourite FFV character.

Gilgamesh 1 Gilgamesh 2

Gilgamesh! Galuf set up Protect on himself, watched Gilgamesh bounce off him and beat him for a while until Gilgamesh declared that he was letting me go this time. Gilgamesh is a great example of this game’s silliness and he only gets better. I love him. After that, Galuf gets the party out and I swap around the jobs a bit to let everyone get some experience in a class they either haven’t used yet. Bartz is a Ninja for now, Galuf goes back to White Mage, Faris starts getting Dancer experience, leaving Lenna in Mystic Knight.

Status 3

And that’s it for now! Next time is my favourite part of the game – The Clash on the Big Bridge! Stay tuned!

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Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta challenge – for Child’s Play (Part 4)

Apologies for not updating this run recently – been very busy. Even in this update I don’t really get a lot done and mostly just side quest. Still, it’s fun. And as always, please consider donating to Child’s Play, they’re doing wonderful work. I know it doesn’t seem that useful – toys for kids in hospital? Who cares, right? – but here are a couple of examples from their site of just how important and helpful these can be.

This gift allows us to make the child as comfortable as possible. Hospitals can be scary places, and things like movies and video games give the children a sense of normalcy in what is not a normal situation for them. – Patti Brahe, senior vice president of Parkview Women’s and Children’s Hospital

Our department has had these items on our ‘wishlist’ for years, knowing that with them we can support our patients in new and better ways. Believe me when I say the donation we received could not have come at a better time. Not only will it provide our patients with support, distraction, and therapeutic play, it has already revitalized our staff morale. – Bethany L. Fisackerly, Child Life Specialist

There are a lot more testimonials on the Child’s Play website I linked, making it honestly a pleasure and a privilege to support them through the Four Job Fiesta, which as of this post (to be clear I mean the event as a whole, not me specifically, obviously) has now raised over $10,000 for the charity – we’re now shooting for $12,500!

At the end of the previous update, I had unlocked my third job, Ninja, and proved that I should consider buying a lottery ticket. So, to continue the plot, I need to fix the boat, but Cid won’t do it because he’s a mopey panda, which necessitates heading to the Library of Ancients. Partly because we need to find his grandson Mid to cheer him up (not that the game explains this), partly because it’s the only new place we can go now that we’ve… exploded Karnak Castle. You’d think that we’d face some sort of repercussions for that This is another reason I ended the update by grinding – as you may have seen, I ended up with all my characters at level 16, which is rather helpful for this dungeon.

Why no, the Library isn't a problem for me.

Why no, the Library isn’t a problem for me.

It’s even less of a problem considering I have three spellblade users, two of which dual wield. All the enemies in here are weak to fire, meaning Spellblades cleave it in half, and Black Mages burn it to a crisp. But the main reason to not be level 15 in this place is that it makes you a target for one enemy’s Level 5 Death spell – Page 64, who naturally I didn’t screenshot.

That’s going to be a theme this update. Anyway, these… books… are the only enemies who show up in the library, so it’s a bit of a joke. Speaking of jokes!

But I don't even have a summoner...

But I don’t even have a summoner…

Ifrit is effectively the midboss of this library, you can’t proceed without acquiring him. Fortunately, I have Spellblade.

Yes yes, very intimidating.

Yes yes, very intimidating.

Ifrit will essentially just spam fire attacks, with his most threatening one being Blaze. He’s like a less intimidating Liquid Flame really. Yes, it’ll hurt if he single targets, but Cura fixes that no problem if you keep your health topped up.

The God of Hellfire ladies and gents.

The God of Hellfire ladies and gents.

Yeah… Needless to say Ifrit gets dropped in about three rounds, because dual-wielding Ninjas with Spellblade wreck him.

Sensing a theme there?

Scrub.

Scrub.

I’m pretty sure I had more trouble with Shiva, frankly. And I definitely have more trouble with the other summon I acquire this update. Spoilers.

Ifrit gets RESULTS.

Ifrit gets RESULTS.

With that, it’s on to the rest of the library, which is honestly a pretty short jaunt until we reach its end-boss, Byblos. Who is another book.

Byblos 1

Book burning time!

Byblos is a boss who is potentially problematic if you don’t really understand what you’re doing or have been unlucky with either the RNG or your job rolls. He has a lot of nasty counters that inflict status ailments, including Toad and Confuse. He’ll also halve your level to hamper your stats with Dischord, buff himself with Protect when struck with physicals (though this is random) and halve your MP with Magic Hammer.

Byblos 2 Byblos 3 Byblos 4

However, he is also weak to fire, I have dual-wielding Ninjas with Spellblade, and I actually only got him to use Protect once. Seriously considering that lottery ticket thing, Byblos’ biggest attack is his Drain spell, which is still very painful at this point in the game, though at least the health he replenishes from it is nothing compared to what I’m doing. Look, I even captured his special boss fadeout! I’m the best blogger ever 😉

Anyway, we get Mid, and thus get our hands on a boat, which if we’re playing normally will last us a grand total of five minutes. FFV is really schizophrenic about its vehicles. However, I decide to sail over to Jachol first, intending to upgrade my equipment (which I didn’t capture) and grind some ABP in the Jachol Cave (most of which I didn’t capture either). The equipment I get is very useful though, most notably the Mage Masher daggers, which can inflict Silence at random. I have plans for this, much later down the line.

Tiny, but deadly.

Tiny, but deadly.

The treasure in the cave is mostly useless, but the encounters aren’t. Formations of Nut Eaters are the most common, easily killed and delivering 2 ABP. The Skull Eaters give 5 ABP, but a) good luck hitting, damaging and killing them, and b) good luck surviving a fight with them. They’re nice enough to flee most of the time though, awarding you ABP anyway. What a bro. You’ll notice that I switch Lenna to Mystic Knight and Bartz back to White Mage, to let them both get some experience in their other classes. That’s the only new thing I can do with the boat, so we sail over to Crescent, where the boat is promptly sunk in an earthquake. I do… things in Crescent? I think? Look I did this a week ago and there isn’t much in Crescent that’s very useful for me at this stage. I do get the Black Chocobo though, so that’s lovely. And now I can access a few more places – Istory Village to pick up the Toad and Esuna spells (I forgot I could get Esuna in Karnak Castle) and encounter an optional summon. Sidequesting!

Wild old man attacks!

“Get off my lawn!”

Ramuh is the most challenging of the three elemental summons at this stage in the game, mainly because I can’t absolutely ruin him with Spellblade. It’s a more straightforward slog through his 4000 HP. Shockingly, Ramuh mostly sticks to lightning spells, which are fairly damaging. and puts Bartz on constant healing duty, occasionally supported by Lenna, while the ninjas rip into him. If the Mage Mashers got to silence him, (both Ninjas have one) this would be a breeze, but he’s immune to it. It’s a fairly standard battle of attrition, but nothing I can’t handle at this point of the game. So of course I didn’t capture most of it.

Next on the list is Lix Village, which is mostly useful for abusing the half price discount for items, getting some backstory for Bartz and purchasing throwables for Ninjas! … Which I forgot about until after the next boss, so sequence breaking ahoy.

Kind of wish I'd remembered to do this before Sandworm...

Kind of wish I’d remembered to do this before Sandworm…

The scrolls are for elemental damage and are currently my only way of dealing damage to a whole enemy party. I buy twenty of each. Shuriken are stupid expensive and not damaging enough to justify it at this stage. Note the Water Scroll in particular – it’s my only way of dealing WATER damage, because in FFV, Water and Ice are completely different things and elements. Maybe Ice is made of frozen lemonade or something.

Enough stalling, because it’s onto the biggest challenge of the update, and a major Fiesta roadblock. We go to the Desert of Shifting Sands to do battle with the Sandworm, so we can cross its corpse to chase a king’s ghost through a ruin to fall into a trap and get an airship as a result.

No, really, that’s what happens. FFV is so silly.

Why can holes cast magic?

Why can holes cast magic?

So: the Sandworm. Ordinarily, this boss is a matter of patience. He moves between the three holes here, so mashing A is not recommended, especially because the holes will (somehow) counterattack when you hit them with Gravity, halving your HP. The Sandworm’s only attack meanwhile is Quicksand, dealing a flat 60 damage across your party, but inflicting Sap, causing your HP to tick down rapidly. It’s like poison, but with more pressure.

Note: Ice is not Water.

Note: Ice is not Water.

The Sandworm is weak to water, which means that if I’d remembered to buy those scrolls in Lix before, I could’ve trivialised him (though I’d have incurred my fair share of Gravity counterattacks for Bartz to tend to). Oh well, where would the challenge be in that, right? Lenna is using the Blizzara spellblade here and her damage at its normal rate, because water and ice are totally different things, because fuck you, that’s why.

So why is the Sandworm a roadblock if you’ve been unlucky? The biggest problem is lacking a decent healing option at this point of the game outside of White Mage, which you more than likely haven’t rolled. That means you’re relying on Potions to heal, which at 50 HP a heal have long since outstayed their usefulness. The rate at which Sap ticks your HP down constantly turns the fight into a mixture of a damage race and a war of attrition, and god help you if you incur a Gravity counter… Which is damn near guaranteed if you have, say, a Berserker, which targets enemies at random. There ARE ways to trivialise him – Water scrolls from Ninjas, Aqua Breath from the Blue Mage or capturing a Dhorne Chimera with a Beastmaster (which deals absolutely absurd damage to Desert-type enemies), but the Sandworm is a potentially brutal fight that is very hard to keep up with the damage from.

But I have White magic. Bartz spams Cura and we get through.

Yeah, Ninjas are awesome.

Yeah, Ninjas are awesome.

… This by the way is what Water Scrolls do to enemies in the desert.

So after that, it’s on to the ruins, where the things I described earlier happens. Chase the ghost. Fall in a pit. Get an airship. Pick up the Mini spell on the way. And then get randomly attacked by a “boss” that clung to the airship as it rose. For those of you keeping score at home, this is the third vehicle in this update, yes.

A palette swap? Why it's not even my birthday!

A palette swap? Why it’s not even my birthday!

Cray Claw is a pathetic reskin of the game’s second boss, right down to his stupid Tail Screw attack. I finish him in two hits by having Ninjas throw Shuriken at him. I found them while picking up Mini.

Freakin ninjas, be less amazing.

Freakin ninjas, be less amazing.

Yep.

Next time, I’ll use this airship to finally go hunt for that Earth crystal… Right after I go buy some more scrolls.

Status!

Status!

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Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta Challenge – for Child’s Play (Part 3)

Welcome back to the third part of the world’s luckiest Four Job Fiesta, where I hope the RNG will continue to heap its bounty upon me. As always I want to remind everyone that this whole event is an effort to raise money for the wonderful Child’s Play charity, and every day the event grows closer to raising $10,000, which can only be considered a great success that will go on to help kids all over the place through some of the toughest of times. Please, please consider donating either toys or cash to support their work or speak to local hospitals and shelters to let them know this service is available! I’ll love you forever.

In the previous update, I had managed to make my way to the second Crystal, unlocking the Mystic Knight job for myself, and tested it out against Shiva for reasons. Now that I actually have some offensive power going for me, I feel a little more confident as my ragtag party progresses the plot and heads into the town of Karnak. I don’t know how this place really functions, everything is on fire. I didn’t capture that, so just trust me. But on the whole, it’s a quaint little village…

Karnak 1

… Mostly. I might need something to deal with that… Apart from the therapy.

Karnak 2

Yeah, that should cover it. I also have the Silver Glasses on Galuf to protect against darkness, which Flash inflicts. They don’t work though, so I assume they only cause you to resist the status rather than be immune to it. Whatever. I progress the plot by going to the weapon shop to pick up one of the discounted weapons – I opt for a Mythril Sword, since it’s the most expensive one I can currently use. Plot happens, Cid bargains us out of prison, I upgrade everyone’s equipment and pick up all the new magic (headline being the level 2 elemental spells for my Mystic Knights to use and Cura for the White Mages) and it’s off to the Fire Ship!

Fire Ship 1

These guys are weird. They show up after killing particular groups of enemies and just sort of sit there really. They never got a chance to attack me, because…

Fire Ship 2

Mystic Knights are amazing aren’t they? They’re weak to Thunder, so Spellblade can really rip them apart. Most enemies die in a couple of hits anyway, but still, the big numbers make me feel good. The other enemy I want to give a brief mention to is this guy:

Fire Ship 3

Much like his counterpart in the Ship Graveyard, this guy is actually weak to Cure, though I’ve never realised this. I found out because he actually confused Bartz by Licking him (understandable), and then Bartz cast Cura on him for the kill. Hilarious. Most of the treasure in the Fire Ship I can’t use, which is just super… So let’s skip to the boss: Liquid Flame.

Liquid Flame 1

Liquid Flame is occasionally a bit of a barrier for people attempting this challenge. Mostly people who roll Berserker or have no source of magic. Potions really aren’t cutting it at this stage of the game for healing though, so it’s frequently a brutal fight. However, I have Mystic Knights who can use Blizzara Spellblade and White Mages.

Liquid Flame 2

Isn’t it beautiful? 600 damage right to the face. That happens every time Bartz and Galuf attack… In this form, while the most threatening thing he does is Blaze me for 100 damage each. Cura spread on the party cures all that and more. Single target Fira does 250 to Faris though and actually kills her at one point, but given my entire party can cast Raise and Cura, getting her back up isn’t much of a hassle.

Liquid Flame 3 Liquid Flame 4

Other forms for those following along I guess. I see these things a lot. Both can’t be hit by ice attacks, so Lenna and Faris have to try smacking them occasionally to get them to change. They’re not a threat, but the Tornado form tries to heal by casting Fira on itself. Not enough to outpace Bartz and Galuf’s attacks in the humanoid form, but enough to slow the battle a little. Still, a simple enough fight if you have a good source of elemental damage!

No, I still can't capture these fadeouts.

No, I still can’t capture these fadeouts.

Damn it past Joshua! Get your shit together! Ugh, you’re the WORST. You’ll notice here that I had Protect on most of my party, but Liquid Flame very rarely uses physicals, I just like to be cautious. My party also ended up entirely in the front row because of Magnet, but like I said, Liquid Flame’s physicals are so rare that it’s a pointless move for him. Anyway, with that, it’s time for my new job-

Countdown 1

Oh right, fuck you too. I have always hated time limits in video games and this is one of my least favourite. Ten minutes to escape Karnak Castle (which for some reason the Fire Ship is connected to, don’t ask questions), but now you can get all the treasure you couldn’t before! Except all the chests have monsters in them because fuck you! Ugh. Most of them have Elixirs, which I’m admittedly not concerned about. I tried to get them on my first attempt, but ran out of time. Second attempt I just went for the chests which I know have good equipment – the Ribbon (which I may not even use), the money, the Main Gauche (more evade, Knives are cool too), the Elven Mantle (MORE evade) and the Shuriken.

Iron Claw

And then there’s THIS asshole at the end of it, whom I swear is just there to stress you out. He has three underlings, killing them off causes his transformation into… whatever this is with absurd defences. I tried Thundara Spellblade since I thought he might be weak to it, but no. And then he has Doom Claw to paralyse your characters and bring them to single digit health. It’s so mean, but he’s not hard. Just there to stress you out at the end.

I am the worst at screenshots

I am the worst at screenshots

The end result is that Karnak Castle explodes in glorious 16-bit pyrotechnics and 3 of the 5 Fire Crystal Shards appear for my party. Now’s as good a time as any now that I have peace, so I tweet Gilgabot for my Fire job… And I could swear someone is doing a ritual sacrifice in my name, because I roll Ninja. Oooh yeah. The special thing about Ninjas of course is their ability to wield two weapons, which I will happily use in conjunction with Spellblade and whatnot. Beautiful. I also picked up the Moonring Blade in the Fire Ship, a throwing weapon which allows Ninjas to deal full damage from the back row and relative safety as a result. They can also throw items and weapons for considerable damage, plus elemental scrolls for… elemental damage. The point is that Ninjas are awesome.

I miss out on the Bard’s ability to buff, the Geomancer’s trap-evasion and terrain-based magic, the Ranger’s Rapid Fire for doing four attacks at once and the Beastmaster’s… I dunno I never use Beastmasters, but they capture monsters and release them to do a single attack. I’d say this is still a solid trade for me. I have one job left to nab, and this is where I call it for the day.

Status!

Status!

Well… Ok, not quite. I take the opportunity to go back to the Fire Ship to grind ABP, getting Bartz and Galuf to level 4 in their job, thus allowing them to use Spellblade level 3 (and thus the mid-level elemental magic) while Spellblade is attached as an ability to any other class. I then make Galuf a Ninja in addition to Faris.

That's more like it.

That’s more like it.

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Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta Challenge – for Child’s Play (Part 2)

Welcome back to my Four Job Fiesta for Child’s Play. As always, I want to encourage readers to learn more about the Four Job Fiesta challenge and Child’s Play by visiting the websites and reminding you that Child’s Play accepts both cash donations and allows you to view facilities’ wish lists should you wish to send a gift directly. They’re doing great work for kids in some very tough situations they might not fully understand and be rightly worried and scared in. It’s something I consider very worthwhile, so I’m only happy to help them out and play through a great game at the same time. On with the update!

In the previous update, my team of White Mages had Cured their way through the Ship Graveyard because healing magic wrecks the undead for reasons I still don’t fully understand. Either way, it’s the fastest battles will be going for me for some considerable time, until I get my second job at the end of this update. Spoilers!

We begin by heading south from the Ship Graveyard to the town of Carwen. Not much to do here; with the most important thing I do being to grab a new set of robes for my Mages (giving them a whole THREE defence! WOW!) and buying the Sleep and Protect spells from the magic shop. I can’t use Sleep at all, but I pick it up just in case I roll Mystic Knight or something. Protect though is very important and saves my bacon a few times. Like I said, there’s not much to do in Carwen apart from find a few hidden potions and Gil and whatnot. Fun times. But with that, it’s off to the North Mountain in search of a method of air travel. And because there’s nowhere else I can currently go. That too.

How are these cats?!

How are these cats?!

The North Mountain is very much a step up in difficulty for this challenge. I still only have one character capable of dealing half decent physical damage (Faris with the Flail) and “half decent” is the best way to describe it. It’s hardly awe-inspiring, but given that everyone else deals between 5-11 damage with their sticks, while Faris hits anywhere from 24-60? She’s like Hercules compared to the rest of them. Meanwhile, the North Mountain enemies are hammering my mages for 20-30 damage, depending on the attack. Not a huge threat, but it means we have to cure ourselves quite a bit, which slows down our damage output even further and drags out battles, especially when Faris decides to start missing annoyingly often. But it’s not a long dungeon anyway and we get to the top soon enough, dodging the poisonous flowers because I’m not a complete twit. And then it’s time for Magissa!

oh god it burns

oh god it burns]

Magissa poses a considerable threat. She’s the first enemy to throw offensive magic at me. Fire, Blizzard and Thunder are nothing special, easily Cured with a group cast, but Drain can bring any one of my characters to single digit HP from full health – while healing her for the same of course. I was rather surprised when she cast it on Galuf, but thankfully she only did it once. I start layering Protect on everyone while Faris does her best to clobber her. Then everyone else joins in with their mighty* sticks.

Apparently 4 on 1 is "unfair".

Apparently 4 on 1 is “unfair”.

Soon enough we get Magissa into her second phase though, where Forza appears. This is why I was casting Protect, since he only uses physical attacks and Protect reduces the incoming damage from “Ouch” to “Meh”. Easily healed off single target damage. I might have been ok without Protect, but I’d rather have had it and not needed it. Magissa now takes the time to start buffing Forza though, starting with Regen. But Regen is a non-issue, only healing him for about 4 HP every 10 seconds or thereabouts? So I needn’t have worried. Either way, we keep plinking away at Magissa until she dies.

It's all a matter of patience from here.

It’s all a matter of patience from here.

As I just said, Forza really isn’t much a threat from here. He’s just doing single target damage that even a group cast of Cure heals off completely. Protect is awesome is what I’m getting at. It takes a while, because of his 850 HP, but…

I've got to get better at capturing monsters fading out...

I’ve got to get better at capturing monsters fading out…

Marvellous. There’s only one more boss I have to slog through with a full party of White Mages, thankfully (and he’s a doozy of course).

I named him Ringo :)

I named him Ringo 🙂

With that out of the way, we get our air travel method, and a nice one too. Dragon is the best way to fly. I fly over to Tycoon Castle to loot it for all its treasure I can’t use… But I get a couple of Elixirs and Phoenix Downs at least, and the Healing Staff which will be handy in emergencies. Probably. After that it’s on to Walse. I can’t even upgrade my White Mages in town so there’s really nothing to do except loot the castle and tackle the basement. Phoenix Downs are expensive, but I really wanted the Elven Mantle for that sweet 1/3 block rate on physicals ok? Jackanapes, as will not surprise veterans of this game, KO me handily in one shot, but I’m usually able to run away with at least one person alive. I grab the Elven Mantle and give it to Galuf before progressing the plot.

More of the same...

More of the same…

Walse Tower is the home of the second Crystal, my second Job and a host of irritating enemies that take way too long to kill with a party of White Mages and make me eat through MP like nobody’s business. Galuf even died at one point to a couple of enemy mages I didn’t capture – thanks Drain spell, really nice work. The mages are the biggest threat here actually, spamming Slow, Stop and Drain puts me in a very bad position. But I only encounter them once, thankfully. That was more than enough.

The calm before the storm...

The calm before the storm…

So we make it to Garula – the biggest challenge I’ve had so far. 1200 HP, massive defence, one half decent physical attacker on my side and a nasty customer. If you go to Walse town after beating this guy, a little girl yells at you because you beat him up. That little girl, like many children, is an asshole.

… Donate to Child’s Play everyone!

Jokes aside, the Garula fight at the top of the tower starts off very slow. Literally. Garula’s speed can be defined as glacial, which is fine by me since it gives me plenty of time to set up Protect on everyone. That is why I win this, oh goodness yes. Faris plinks away, and everyone heals off Garula’s attacks while occasionally hitting him with a stick. All seems fine, everything is going swimmingly… Until Garula hits phase 2. Hoo boy.

This is... under control...?

This is… under control…?

Garula suddenly wakes up and Charging me like nobody’s business, getting two attacks to each of my character’s one and using his Charge attack to inflict Sap, constantly draining my health. Those little numbers going down add a surprising amount of stress. Protect minimises the damage, but we still have a couple of near misses, and if I wasn’t spamming Cure almost constantly with Bartz, Lenna and Galuf, this battle really would’ve gone in the elephant’s favour.

I'm never going to get this fadeout thing.

I’m never going to get this fadeout thing.

But that’s exactly what I was doing while Faris continued swinging her Flail at him, leading to our victory! The Water Crystal shatters anyway, but who cares, because new jobs! I send my tweet (#water) to Gilgabot and contemplate my options. The Water Crystal offers five new jobs, and honestly there’s only one I’d be unhappy with – the Berseker. Let’s just say there’s a reason that the #BerserkerRisk run is a thing and why so many people donated to make sure that everyone who chose that run ended up with at least one of the bastards. Berserkers are uncontrollable and do nothing but attack random targets, which becomes very problematic when you need to hit certain targets on a boss – like the upcoming Sand Worm. That said, all the other jobs are very solid. Time Mage lets you mess about with the flow of battle, slowing enemies, speeding up the party and using a few weird spells that didn’t fit in any other school I guess. Summoners summon powerful creatures for massive damage against enemy parties for high MP costs. Red Mages are fairly mediocre all-rounders, using swords and mid-level black and white magic, but pick up one of the best skills in the game, allowing them to cast two spells in a turn. I don’t end up with any of these though.

Booyah.

Booyah.

Yes, I rolled Mystic Knight. Huge break for me. Mystic Knights are great swordfighters who can imbue their blades with magic to hit elemental weaknesses and inflict status ailments. They’re one of the best classes in my view. Now I have great physical fighters to go with healing. Fantastic. Since Lenna and Faris are my fastest characters, they stay as White Mages for now so I can recover faster while Bartz and Galuf become Mystic Knights. I’ll probably be switching them around anyway so they can master both jobs and have White Magic as a secondary command. Things are looking very good for me at this point, so to test my team (and show off the Mystic Knights before the end of the update), I go into the cave behind Walse Castle to face off with Shiva!

Shiva 1

I know I can’t use Shiva since I can’t roll Summoner any more, but I still want to do as many sidequests as I can in this run. It’ll feel like a more authentic run, plus where else am I going to find the challenge?

Well... Maybe not here...

Well… Maybe not here…

Yeah, Mystic Knights kind of make this fight a bit of a joke. Shiva and the Ice Commanders are all weak to Fire, and two or three hits (counting Faris occasionally flailing at them) will down them. I take them out quite quickly. Meanwhile, Shiva casts Blizzara on my front row, then my back row, and so on. If all my characters were still in one row, I would probably have trouble keeping up with that damage output, but I don’t, so it’s no big deal. I don’t bother with Protect since the Ice Commanders die easily and Shiva doesn’t do anything except Blizzara anyway.

Spellblade is an awesome command, isn't it?

Spellblade is an awesome command, isn’t it?

Go Galuf! Use that flaming sword! Galuf and Bartz’s attack break 200 damage easily, and even when I accidentally hit Shiva with the Healing Staff, healing almost 300 HP back to her, she just doesn’t have the stamina to stand up to a prolonged assault. One thing I’ll say is that Shiva counts as a back row enemy, so until the Ice Commanders are dead, physicals will do much less to her – take them out first!

Shiva 4 Shiva 5

Look I’m still new to this screenshotting thing, alright? Give me a break. With that, I’m going to call this an update and get ready for the next leg of the journey. The Fire Crystal is our next target, and I’m sure my luck with the RNG won’t hold out much longer.

Status update!

Status update!

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Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta Challenge – for Child’s Play (part 1)

This summer, I intend to take part in what is known as the Four Job Fiesta charity event in order to raise some money and create awareness of Child’s Play, a charity I strongly support and consider a worthy cause. For the uninitiated, Child’s Play is a charity that works in domestic violence shelters and hospitals to help kids be kids essentially, proving them with toys and games to play with. They’re an admittedly small group, which is why I hope the Four Job Fiesta event will be of use to them – it’s already raised around $10,000 and will hopefully do that more before the deadline of September 1st. And while Child’s Play predominantly works in America, they do have several international locations and it’d be great if this campaign gets them to expand a little more or convinces more locations to invite Child’s Play to help them out.

So what’s the Four Job Fiesta? Participants play through the game Final Fantasy V (one of my favourite games) while being assigned only four of the game’s 22 classes to play with. More details can be found at the link above, but that is the most basic explanation. By tweeting the Gilgabot (@FF5ForFutures), players are randomly assigned one job gained from each of the game’s 4 crystals. There are variants, which are also detailed on the website from the above link. My own personal pledge is as follows: If I successfully complete the playthrough, I will personally donate $15 to Child’s Play. If I cannot do so, I will instead donate $30. However, if I manage to defeat either of the game’s two “superbosses”, Omega and Shinryu, I will donate an additional $10 for each of them I beat.

Should I complete the run once, I may end up doing it again, but we’ll see. In each of these updates, I’ll be encouraging all readers to check out what Child’s Play are doing and asking you to consider donating to a charity that’s doing its best to help kids going through very tough and scary times. These updates will be sharing my experiences of the challenge. I hope you enjoy them.

So, the run begins. I tweet Gilgabot to register for the challenge and be given my first job from the Wind Crystal, which can be one of six – Knight (physical fighter and tank), Monk (barehanded attacker), Black Mage (offensive caster and elemental magic), Blue Mage (learn enemy spells), White Mage (healing and support magic) and Thief (Stealing!) And as you can see here, Gilgabot responded with White Mage. Yay healing indeed! A lucky break for me at the start, since I’m guaranteed a dedicated healer throughout the game and in the early game can just spam Cure throughout tougher fights. On the other hand, I have absolutely no offensive power, which will make fights long and somewhat tedious (mostly).

The game’s intro, I play as normal. I can’t exactly do much until I get to the Wind Shrine and thus unlock the White Mage job, so there’s not exactly much to write about. I do stop in Tule before going to the Wind Shrine to buy both Black and White magic, since maybe I’ll get assigned Red Mage or something too. Because this means I grind for money a bit, my party is level 5 before I head in to the Shrine, which… is easy because it’s the game’s first dungeon and my options are “Attack” and “Item” (read: use Potion). Nothing special there. Once I get the White Mage job, as per the rules of the challenge, everyone immediately becomes one. Thus my men and women of the cloth take up their destiny – beating things in the face with their wooden sticks for an age until they die, occasionally casting Cure to heal themselves. That’s how it goes for the Canal, and especially for the boss, Karlabos. This is also the point where I realised “Hey, I’m using an emulator, I can screenshot!” Boom. Visual aids.

Karlabos is a tedious asshole.

Karlabos is a tedious asshole.

So, Karlabos. He’s extremely easy, but simultaneously tedious. His basic physical attack hits for around a third of my health. Feeler does the same, but has a side of paralysis, as Lenna is currently demonstrating. And Tail Screw is a dick move, but Karlabos is slow enough that my mages can heal away the ouchies. The big thing making this easy is that Cure spread across the party heals the exact same amount as Karlabos’ attack. Cure on a single target heals them almost completely. So he can’t really kill me because he’s too slow to get two or three attacks in before at least one of my mages has a turn. The problem is that he has 650 HP and each of my attacks with a wooden stick does an average of 10-15 damage. So it takes a long time, but he bites the dust.

Next up is the Ship Graveyard, and this is where my White Mages will shine. I put them all in the back row to reduce incoming damage, since magic will still be as effective from there. It’s a good idea – every attack from the generic enemies deals about 6 damage in that position. The place is littered with undead enemies, which is extremely good news. I don’t know why, but Cure spells hurt the undead rather a lot. Two spread casts will kill a group and a single focused cast will one-shot most of the enemies. It’s MP-intensive, but the dungeon isn’t huge – though I do make it longer on myself by having to double back half way through to pick up the Flail. Seeing as it’s the White Mage’s best weapon for some time and I did get lots of experience from doing so, I don’t regret it.

Sleepwalking through Siren!

Sleepwalking through Siren!

I blitz my way through the Graveyard and come to its boss: The Siren. Off topic, but I always loved how Galuf snapped the others out of Siren’s delusions by just punching them in the face. Simple but effective! This game isn’t one for taking itself seriously, which I’ve always appreciated. Siren is also a pretty easy boss thankfully. She starts off with high defence, augmented when she casts Protect, and hits fairly hard… But I have four White Mages, so that’s not much of a problem. She inflicts Silence on Lenna early on though, which I forgot she could do. So my mages are barely scratching her with their sticks (minus Faris, who has the Flail), but then this happens!

For reasons unknown to science, the undead are vulnerable to curative magic!

For reasons unknown to science, the undead are vulnerable to curative magic!

I have no idea why Siren decides to make herself undead midway through the battle, but it drastically speeds things up, since now Cure hurts her! Quite a lot as you can see! She poisons Bartz, but I don’t bother healing it, since the damage is minimal. Plus I have four White Mages, so healing in a spot of trouble is not the hardest thing in the world. Eventually…

rekt

rekt

Yeah, Siren really can’t keep up with us in her undead form. Good job there genius. With that out of the way, I leave the Ship’s Graveyard and decide to call this an update – done for the night. Next time, I’ll be getting my second job hopefully! (Please don’t be Berserker oh god)

Status at the end of the first update, having saved just after the Ship Graveyard.

Status at the end of the first update, having saved just after the Ship Graveyard.

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On Feminism

As you may have deduced from the fact that in my previous post I mentioned that Caitlin Moran is one of my heroes, I am indeed, shock, horror, a feminist. As I type this at 3.45 on a sunny Wednesday afternoon, lightning flashes from out my window. Joking aside, of course I’m a feminist. I believe in equality for all human beings, therefore I’m one by default. It bothers me when people say “[they’re] not feminist, [they’re] humanist”, while not realising that that’s already a thing. Humanism is, according to Google (though it pains me to reference it as an academic), “a rationalist outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters”. Feminism is what deals with equality between the sexes, let’s put an end to that nonsensical argument. Feminism is for everyone, and a male feminist is therefore not a contradiction.

Back to Caitlin for a second (because I’m slightly in love with her). She has two simple rules for being a feminist: believe in equality for men and women, and don’t be a dick. It’s that simple. Everything else is a bonus. What issues are most important to you. What part of the patriarchy you consider most harmful. What you can do to help and change things. With 7 billion people in the world, all with their own ideals, morals, values and experiences, we could naturally end up with 7 billion types of feminism, if everyone in the world believed in it. They don’t, for reasons that are truly beyond me. But that could just be me being an idealistic sap. It’s not uncommon.

So the point of this post is to get across my own particular feminism, and what it means to me and why. Certainly part of it is down to my own role models throughout my life; my mother being the most obvious, and many of my tutors at university have inspired me, including Dr. Una Convery, my studies advisor. I’ve always found it difficult to relate to guys of my age as well and been mostly let down by adult men (apart from some schoolteachers and university lecturers), so I haven’t had the strong male role model that people say young boys need. Unless, of course, you count Atticus Finch, and I suspect fictional characters are off the table. Shame.

So with that in mind, and the fact that I simply have more female than male friends, one starts to easily recognise sexist bullshit and get rather annoyed about it. It hurts me to see people I respect and care about treated like second-class citizens for nothing more than the chromosomes they were born with, and then you extrapolate that to women all over the world going through the same shit every day.

Of course, I know what it’s like to be treated as a second-class citizen. Ridiculed and bullied by society for something I have no control over and discriminated against for it. Legislation to help people like me has been blocked in this country, meaning those in power are keeping people like me down. Autism and all that. There are, of course, fundamental differences between misogyny and ableism, but that is beside my point.

So what is feminism to me then? Well, apart from something to give the people I love the respect they deserve in society, I find the patriarchy crushing to men as well, though in different ways. From the moment you’re born, you’re told that this is what a man is, and this is what a woman is. Going outside those boundaries marks you as strange, different, and open to ridicule. I don’t enjoy sport. I find beer disgusting; I prefer cocktails. I love the theatre in all its forms, especially musical theatre. I’m easily frightened. I don’t buy into competitive culture and the stereotypical “locker room talk” about girls and trying to pull as many as possible. That machismo sickens me. I cry easily and am a very emotional person. In short, I’m the opposite of that stereotypical man, and because of it, I’m seen as strange and told to “man up”. A highly damaging phrase. Men don’t talk about their feelings or issues, they just suck it up and get on with things, despite how incredibly awful that is for the psyche and mental health. But it’s ok, because that’s what a man is. Ignore the fact that the suicide rate for men is 5 times higher than women. I was sexually assaulted at a party in late 2012. I didn’t find out for a year and a half. Everyone seemed to find it absolutely hilarious. A harmless prank. It’s fine, because it was just “lad banter”. Men don’t get sexually assaulted after all.

Fuck. That. Shit.

I know damn well that I deserve better treatment than that. I’m different and that’s just fine. What happens to me should be treated as seriously as it should for anyone else. I’ve done my best to be a good person, and not fitting into stereotypes does nothing to change that. If you think it does? If you think I need to “man up” or “be a man” about these things? Fuck you. Just fuck you.

My feminism is about breaking stereotypes like this for both men and women, saying it’s ok not to fit into those boxes. Combating sexual assault to make sure that it’s treated with real weight and shown to be unacceptable in all forms against all people. Finally, body image. You’re beautiful regardless of your size or shape, and there are more important things in life anyway.

I apologise for not really mentioning some of the bigger issues to feminism. Abortion, domestic violence etc. These things are of course important to me as well. But this is my personal feminism. The issues that are closest to home for me and the ones I feel most strongly about. I’d encourage you to think about the issues that affect you most and what you can do about them. I’m still trying to work that part out, personally. But sure, that’s life. Always working out what’s next after all. But yes, those are my extended ramblings on my feminism. Again, to quote Caitlin Moran’s rules of feminism: believe in equality between the sexes, and don’t be a dick.

On starting a blog and changing the world

No, those two things are not related. If it were that easy, hipsters would be a positive force in the world. I am never allowing this to happen.

So yes. This is basically a place for my extended ramblings and a place to let out the feels and such. I ramble a lot on Twitter, and my handwriting is atrocious, so a blog is arguably better for me than a diary. Just ask any single one of my teachers in secondary school. They argued I should become a doctor because of it actually. Sadly, I don’t do especially well around blood. Or sick people. And loathed chemistry with a passion. See what I mean? Rambling. Words fall out of the head and onto the laptop. Ideal.

In any case, I’ve thought about this a few times before, but just sort of confirmed it for myself tonight (shoutout to Amy who gave me the push to sign up for WordPress). I’ll see if I actually end up coming back to it, or if this will just be a one-off. I hope not. I’d like to commit to something like this and blog about neat stuff occasionally. Mostly it’ll be ramblings about complete nonsense. Sorry about that.

Feel like the place to begin tonight is with my dream, and it’s something I talked about on Twitter earlier tonight. I’ve got a dream of changing the world. Sob story time. Growing up, I’ve never been the happiest person. I’ve never really “fit in”, so to speak and been a bit of an outcast in most social situations, where I struggle. Par for the course with the autism I suppose. So I’ve had a lot of contradictory wants over the years. While I want to fit in and be “normal” and be accepted by my peers (and I’m definitely getting there), I want the attention I’ve maybe been denied, or at least feel like I’ve been denied (justifiably or otherwise). I want to celebrate my difference and be something special. I want to be remembered. That’s probably at least part of the reason I fell into acting, though there’s more to it than that. That’s a story for another time though. The important bit for now is that I don’t feel strong enough as an actor or as a person to take that professionally. So obviously, I wanted to look for something else, and with criminology, I think I’ve found that. I’ve developed a passion for wanting to change the way things are and expose the crimes of the powerful. That’s why I intend to take on an internship with the International State Crime Initiative and pursue a Masters, then a PhD. I can see myself in research, and maybe lecturing some day. Impressioning young minds and whatnot. I know I’ll always have acting in my life in some capacity at least.

Earlier this summer, I met a woman I consider to be one of my heroes: Caitlin Moran. Badass feminist, writer, journalist and all around mad-as-hell woman (also hot as hell in my *expert* opinion, though very beside the point). She was doing a tour to promote her new book, How To Build a Girl (excellent by the way) and I met her at the signing afterwards. She proved to be every bit as personable as she came across on stage and on Twitter, and gave me a massive hug, but it’s what she said to me that has really stuck with me this summer. Firstly, she called me beautiful. For someone I admire so much to say something like that, with my self-esteem? Very much a mind-blowing moment for me. But more importantly, she told me to go and change the world, which was very much a theme during her talk. It was one of those nights that confirmed everything I believe in and drove me to go after things even harder. I’m going to change the world somehow. Not just for me. Not just for Caitlin. But for the world itself.

It’s going to be hard. Of course it’s going to be hard; if it were easy, then everyone would do it. And if I can do that by exposing massive crimes or teaching young minds, then I’m going to consider my life one well spent. Until that day. I’ve got nothing to do other than work towards that and be the best person I can be. The kindest. The most caring, gentle and loving person I can. The most intelligent, the most driven and hardworking person I can. I’m not going to achieve every goal I put out there of course not. Hell, this summer I had three goals: Give a solid performance in Braxton, the upcoming slasher movie in 2015 (which will probably feature a lot in this blog), get fit and get part time work. In my opinion, I just about scraped the first one, and the other two didn’t happen at all. But those are just things to keep working towards as well. I’m 21 years old and so far from complete that it’s not even funny. All that’s left to do then is to keep going.