: : : : : Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls

Background

The GBA conversion of the first two games in the Final Fantasy series, both originally released on the Nintendo Famicom system (NES in America). Final Fantasy I casts you in the role of four nameless heroes on an adventure to find and return crystals of light. In addition to the ability to save anywhere and some gameplay changes, Square Enix also included a new dungeon called "Soul of Chaos." Within this dungeon rest four "Chaos Spirits," along with some powerful items that didn't appear in the original and some well-known bosses from Final Fantasy lore. FFII features Maria, Guy, Leonheart and Frioniel, who attempt to protect the world from a massive empire. Square Enix included new gameplay elements as well as a story update in the form of a new chapter called "Soul of Re-Birth." This chapter features new events, monsters and items.

Features

  • Filled with side quests and regions to explore, this masterpiece brilliantly mixed fantasy and adventure, introduced many groundbreaking innovations and allowed players to build the characters of their party over the course of the game.
  • The two classic RPGs that launched the Final Fantasy saga
  • Enhanced battle, magic, menu and control systems
  • New dungeons, storylines and characters
  • Save anywhere

Official URL

Official Site (JP)
Official Site (NA)
Raziel2465 and 67 others played Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls
Raziel2465 and 249 others own Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls

I've editted a thing into the first update about why I bought the staves, despite their 0 Accuracy stat. I'm sure no one was actually wondering about that but the reason doesn't just boil down to "they hit a little harder."

Update 02: Knocked Down In The Temple of Fiends




After training for a little while, the boys felt stronger, certainly, but the effect was ultimately negligable. It was decided that since Lenge and Chal could handle the enemies attacks more, they would take the lead for a short while.



If I may interlude for a short moment to explain this. AI targetting runs on a very simple formula that hardly deserves the word. On the menu and in battle, characters are arranged in four slots from top-to-bottom going in slot 1, slot 2, slot 3, and slot 4. Whoever's in slot 1 will get targetted 50% of the time, whoever's in slot 2 will get targetted 25% of the time, whoever's in slot 3 will get targetted 12.5% of the time and whoever's in slot 4 will get targetted 12.5% of the time. What this means is that since BMs have terrible Absorb, they should go in the bottom two slots but for obvious reasons that's not possible here. Arranging them from most HP to least HP will have to suffice for now. We'll go over why their HP fluctuates so wildly later but for now, just know that on every level up there's only a chance (varies from version to version) for any given stat to increase on level ups where it's not guaranteed.

Next time in Mechanics Chat 101: Strong Growths and You!




Just north of Cornelia, the group came across a strange cave but when they dared try to investigate this new place, they were accosted by a Goblin Guardian!



Trying to take it out in a straight fight was not the simplest of tasks, as it could easily outdamage any of them without trying, but with just a little bit of perserverance it went down in a small amount of time. It was still just a Goblin in the end, so it couldn't handle anything resembling a prolongued battle.



Inside the cave, the four came across a strange dwarf who smelled an awful lot like he'd just come from a pub. "Lang ago ye could enter, but the way's been shut syne the land began tae decay," he mumbled placing his hand on the nearby rock to maintain his balance. Trying to not offend the man, the boys just smiled and walked away.



A statue blocked further passage into the cave and there didn't appear to be any way to move it, so they left the Earthgift Shrine and made a note to remember it for later.

The Earthgift Shrine is one of four new optional dungeons added for this dungeon. I'll try and complete all four, but I'm not guaranteeing that I can since at least one of them may not even be possible. For now, let's not worry about it since we'll see when we get there.



Just north of the cave, was the Chaos Shrine. After making camp just outside, and sleeping for the night the boys decided to explore the cave and try to find Garland.



The first thing they found inside was a mere spider that didn't appear to notice they were even there. Before it could even move, they had put the creature down and moved on. If every enemy in the area was this simple, then it was hard to understand how the Cornelian Knights had failed at rescuing the princess themselves.



Shortly thereafter, the reason for the knight's inability to succeed made itself apparent. A group of zombies lumbered towards the boys who immediately turned and ran, fearing for their lives. Undead are not a thing to take lightly, and the group would undeniably be troubled by having to deal with a single zombie let alone four of them.



Once they lost the horde chasing them, they came across a chest with a single hat in it. After much deliberation, they agreed to let Lenge take it under the condition that he gives it to whoever replaces him in the lead if and when the need arises.



The next thing the group encountered was a creepy set of Gigas Worms. Fortunately, the two hadn't noticed the boys yet so they tried to get the drop on one of them. They could surely handle a four-on-one fight against a single Gigas Worm, but even after going all out on a single worm it still wasn't dead leaving the boys open to being massacred by the duo. They smartly turned tail and ran from the pair as fast as they could.



After coming across several locked doors, a Potion and a Tent they didn't know how to put up the party decided it would be wise to head back to Cornelia to stock up on some supplies they may need. They faced little resistance heading out of the Chaos Shrine and just outside Cornelia, their extra training from exploring the Shrine had finally borne fruit.




They all felt significantly stronger at this point, but some were clearly better off than others.



What should be obvious from this, is that they all gained a not-insignificant amount of HP out of this. As you'd imagine from a group of Black Mages, they also gained Intelligence which would help their spells deal more damage... if they had any. The point here, is that level 4 is the first "strong" HP growth level for a Black Mage. This essentially means that they gain far more HP than normal (the same thing occurs for MP but for our purposes that's somewhat irrelevant). Now, you might be wondering if this is the first then how did Chal and Lenge have so much more HP at level 3 than No and Magic. That's because, like every other stat, there's a chance to get a strong HP increase on any level. The levels we're interested in for HP growth, however, are levels where this is guaranteed to occur.

You'll undoubtedly have noticed that no-one gained any Strength at this level. That's... that's pretty normal, really. The chance of a Black Mage gaining Strength is about 12.5% if I'm being generous; it feels closer to 6.25% if not lower. There's a reason why later I'll be grinding a bunch and it's NOT for stat increases insomuch as it is for increases to Hit% but that's a much more complex lesson for a later date. Just bear in mind that, in the versions I know better (NES and Origins) at least, Black Mages have a base Hit of 5% at level 1 when unarmed, or using a weapon with 0 Accuracy, and this goes up by 1% with every level. We'll need to bear this in mind for a fight that's not all that far off plot-wise but undoubtedly a long way off real time-wise.




After buying a few more potions at Cornelia, they head back to the Chaos Shrine and immediately run into Garland just past the entrance. Upon hearing the boys whisper amongst each other about who should be the first to speak up, he spun around surprised by the din behind him. "Who's there!?" Looking down at the shaking four, he mockingly laughed. "Hmph. The king's lapdogs. Do you have any idea who you're dealing with?" The boys worriedly shook their heads, too scared to even say a word. "And yet you really dare think that you can cross swords with ME? Very well...



Irritatingly, the European version of this line is "I, Garland, will cut you all down to size!!" I have no idea why this classic line got kept for the US version but not the EU one. It bugs the hell out of me though.



This fight comes in video form! I recommend you watch it because it gives you a VERY good idea of how hard this challenge is going to be later.


In a straight fight, the boys would have no chance against a master knight such as Garland. He outdamaged them effortlessly, and laughed as their staves bounced off his armour dealing next to no damage to him at all! His downfall came from his complacency though, as the boys brought enough Potions with them to be able to survive with no casualties to speak of. A few close calls, but in the end Garland was defeated by the four.

I gave myself a very clear HP threshold for Potion use. I went with 40 which meant that if No or Magic got hit, they'd be given a Potion immediately. You could theoretically get away with 30 but Garland CAN deal more than that if he gets a critical; he was coming close at times without one. I opted for No to be my Potion user if things got hectic since he was in the last slot. Lenge's 4 strength allowed him to deal a bit more damage than the rest but it wasn't much more, since no one could break even double digit damage.

If you need some easy cash for whatever reason or are doing a Solo Fighter or the like you could for the Longsword but it's about a 0.08% chance of dropping so I really don't recommend it.




After having rescued her from the villainous Garland, the princess was more than a little grateful. "I am Sarah, princess of Cornelia. That's the first time Garland ahs ever been defeated. You must allow me to show my gratitude. Please, accompany me to Castle Cornelia."



Tears of joy were almost running down the King's cheeks, but he was able to maintain his composure in front of the four. "There can be no doubt that you are the Warrios of Light from Lukahn's prophecy! You should hear the prophecy in its entirety. Ahem. If I may..."



"Now, I hear that a Crystal can be found on the continent to our north. Restoring light to the Crystals is our only hope of ridding the world of the monsters which plague it! I will have the bridge to the north rebuilt, as I promised. I pray that you succeed in restoring light to the four Crystals - and to the world."

And so the four bowed their heads for the last time to the King of Cornelia and set off to begin their journey in earnest...

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Final Fantasy is a very old RPG. It's so old, in fact, it's probably older than you. Yes you, reading this right now. It's also a very good game but the original version hasn't aged very well. It has mechanical issues that make it annoying to play and many, many unfun glitches. You can patch these out thanks to romhackers, sure, but that's not something I'd want to faff around with. We'll be going through the version released for the GBA as part of Dawn of Souls, the first entry in the bizarrely named "Finest Fantasy for Advance" project. The aforementioned issues are part of why but the largest crux of the matter is that I don't want to spend a year grinding. Why would that be needed? Well...



Why this is a hard as hell thing (the short version; the entire blog of the ordeal is the long version): Y'see, Black Mages have the worst set of weapons they can use in the game, out of all 6 base classes. There's a whole 7 of them to choose from, so you're not exactly spoiled for choice. Now the important thing there is that 3 of those of those are unique and one of them is only obtained in the final dungeon, so for most of the game we only have 6 weapons at our disposal and even then we can only buy three of those! Two of them are at Corneria even, and we start with the mechanically worse of the two (naturally). Out of the one we'll be getting the most mileage out of, we can only get 3 so we'll have to choose wisely who gets those and it's likely we'll be using two of them in the final dungeon too. Armour wise, BMs aren't much better off and they have a shitty natural Absorb so they get murdered in no time. Not to mention their average Strength at level 50 (the old level cap, but while we don't need to break it to finish this challenge we will almost definitely have done so by the second orb) is 32 with a good chance of getting a mere 14, our damage output is terrible. We'll be relying on criticals a lot of the time to deal any real damage and we'll need to grind to at least level 18 just to beat the second real boss since that's when BMs get their second hit with any weapon. For the first orb, we'll need to go to... level 45 for three hits. If this was the original NES version we wouldn't need to go quite that high but because this is the Dawn of Souls version, enemy HP has been at least doubled so we need to deal much more damage than normal. This IS possible, as the challenge has been beaten with a few contingencies. Hopefully, the Dawn of Souls will play in my favour and the level reqs are lower than they used to be but I'll be playing under the assumption they aren't just in case.

Now a few things that need mentioned:

- I will NOT be getting a class chance to Black Wizards until I absolutely need to. Black Wizards get access to a few weapons that BMs cannot use, Catclaws being the most apparent, that would make the challenge somewhat easier.
- I will only be saving at inns/on the world map after using sleeping bags/tents/cottages. The ability to save anywhere you want makes the game significantly easier and I'd rather not abuse that feature so I'm forcibly stopping myself from doing so.
- To prove I've not bought any magic and hidden that fact from you, I'll be recording boss fights but expect the later ones sped up because they'll take forever. I'll be showing the magic menu at the start of each fight as well.
- I will NOT be using magic items until I absolutely need to and even then I won't use them at will when I do.
- Defensive magic items will be the only ones I'm allowed to use at first. Defensive items are the Defender (casts RUSE when used as an item) and the White Robe (casts INV2).
- If Defensive magic items alone are not enough, I'm then allowed to use Offensive magic items. These are the Light Axe (HRM2), Mage Rod (FIR2), Thor Hammer (LIT2), Black Robe (ICE2), and Zeus Glove (LIT2).
- If Offensive magic items are not enough, then in an absolute dire situation which is unwinnable otherwise I'm allowed to use the Power Glove (SABR).
- Anything else not mentioned, such as magic items that heal HP or inflict powerful status ailments such as BANE or even fit the above rules but were added for Dawn of Souls, is not allowed to use under any circumstances. Names and spells may not be accurate for this version but you can tell what they are when we find them.
- I won't be buying any Phoenix Downs. Ever. They make the game way too easy and I think that even this challenge would be much simpler if I could revive whenever and wherever I want. If I find one in a chest, I will either sell it as soon as is reasonably possible or if I'm in the middle of a dungeon I will immediately discard it instead. This depends on the location and how far from a store I am at the time, but under no circumstance is a PD to ever be used.

Update 01: Like Imps To The Slaughter



The winds die... The seas rage... The earth decays... But the people believe in a prophecy and patiently await its fulfilment. "When darkness veils the world, four Warriors of Light shall come." After a long journey, four young travellers at last appear... and in the hand of each is clutched a crystal.



What the prophecy forgot to mention, however, was that the four warriors would live up to their name. The people didn't realise this and ended up attempting to mold these warriors out of a group of children...



You know what they say, beggers can't always be choosers.



The four only had the clothes on their back, a pocket knife each and a little bit of money by compiling their saved "fortunes." None of them had any strengths to speak of, and despite the rags they were wearing people mistook them for something they were not; great spellcasters. The truth is they couldn't even read a spellbook let alone cast the spell inscribed therein.



They stumbled across an unfortunate town rather quickly. Plagued by the tirades of a maniacal villain they would find themselves swept into a strange and fantastical world before too long.



Not knowing how to fight adequately, the four traded in their knives to each obtain a large pole made of wood. They would have preferred the bigger knifes labelled "Rapiers" but the store clerk wouldn't let them.



Hey, I'm just gonna interrupt real quick like to explain this decision. This is one of those things that seems counter-intuitive since the Staff has a 0 Accuracy, compared to the Knife's 10. The damage increase is minimal to borderline non-existent, and so that doesn't even explain it.

Let's just compare the two;

Knife: 5 Attack, 10 Accuracy, 1% Crit Chance
Staff: 6 Attack, 0 Accuracy, 1.5% Crit Chance

This doesn't seem like a lot, and in fact the whole reason for it is that increased chance of a critical, but this is also kind of important. Unless you feel like trying your luck, you'll be fighting the first boss at least at level 5 which is not even remotely close to high enough for a second hit with the Knife (we'll go into that when it becomes relevant many updates from now). Let's just look at the chance for a critical from either;

1.49%    2.96%    
Knife        1           2        
1             1.49%    2.94% 
2                         0.02%    
               BM  1     BM 18


vs

1.99%    3.94%
Staff    1           2        
1         1.99%    3.90% 
2                     0.04%    
           BM  1    BM 28


This might be a bit hard to understand, so just know that for a single hit the there's essentially a 2% chance of that hit being a critical with the Staff vs 1.5% with the Knife. Conversely, if I did grind to a high enough level to get 2 hits with both (at which point I'll have a better weapon anyway) there's a 2.94% chance of 1 hit being critical with the Knife and 0.02% chance of being critical. Conversely, a 3.9% chance of 1 critical with the Staff and 0.04% of 2 criticals.

Tl;dr: In the long term, the Staff grants a much higher damage output potential so it's worth buying.





Upon speaking to locals, they learned of a strange sage who vanished and a missing monarch whom they were implored to somehow rescue.



"These days I hear it's turned into a pirates' den," the man from the foreign land told them. Thinking nothing of it, as the town of Provoka is a long way away, they stepped into the nearby building which turned out to be an item store. They used the rest of their money to buy several Potions...



And several Sleeping Bags. The journey would be a long one, so the ability to rest would come in use at some time.



They tried to leave the town but were stopped by an overly excited guard. He noticed what the boys were carrying and suddenly yelled, "Th-those crystals! You must see the king at once!"



The King was normally an imposing man but there was an air of sadness to his voice. It wasn't pity for the unfortunate souls thrust in front of him, but it was legitimate worry for someone else none the less. Perhaps the princess they were told about? At his request, the boys showed him their shiny glass shards and his face suddenly turned ghastly pail and he spoke in a tone that was now more worried and terrified than sad and distraught.

"It is just as Lukahn's prophecy foretold: When darkness veils the world, four Warriors of Light shall come." The King stated, as if reading from a book. The Chancellor, his oldest friend and the only one he has ever been able to confide in, tried his best to put the King's fears at rest but he was jusst as uncertain in what he said as the King was;



"That may be true... Yet they stand before us with the crystals. I cannot dismiss this as mere coincidence." He looked up at the boys and the four knew that what he had to say was deathly serious. "Crystal bearers, there is a task I would ask of you. Will you go forth and rescue my daughter, Sarah?"



"I ask for your aid in the name of His Majesty, the king of Cornelia. Garland has taken refuge in the Chaos Shrine, which lies to our north. Of course, we did attempt to save the princess ourselves. However, Garland is the finest swordsman in the kingdom! We have none who can match him."

The boys looked at each other for a moment and they realised that this was something far greater than they. They would have liked to help, but the ultimate swordsman in the land was far beyond their capabilities. The King tried to incentive them feeling their anxiety with the task.

"If you are truly the Warriors of Light, then I have heard that you wish to journey to the continent to our north. The bridge leading north was lost long ago, making passage impossible. If you can rescue Sarah, I will have the bridge rebuilt as a sign of my gratitude. Please, I beseech you... Go now, Warriors of Light, and do not fail me!"



They left the castle, with a heavy heart and a heavier conscience. As the four bickered abut what to do, they were set upon by an unruly gang of Goblins. Two snuck in a few attacks while the four weren't looking giving them a small but natural advantage. What they didn't count upon, however, was that the four knew how to both take a hit and deal one in kind.



Able to dispatch a mere Goblin in one hit, however, is not a challenge for even a child though dispatching a gang of them was enough to boost the boys confidence.



They kept at it for a short while and once they had taken what they felt to be about as much damage as they could handle, they ran back to Cornelia as fast as they could and headed to the inn to rest.



The Final Fantasy Four Black Mages No Magic Challenge will be a tough one, there's no denying that, but it has been finished before so it can be done again!

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9.0

So, once again, let's break it up into sections:

Final Fantasy I

Final Fantasy I is...

Completed, aside from the bonus dungeons added. FinalFantasy1and2DawnOfSouls GBA
  • Genre: Fantasy (GBA)
  • Theme(s): Fantasy
  • Perspective(s): Isometric
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Released
    North AmericaNov 29, 2004
    EuropeDec 3, 2004
    JapanJul 29, 2004
    AustraliaDec 2, 2004
  • Also known as:
  • Final Fantasy I & II Advance in Japan
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