Saturday, November 17, 2012

Epic Gaming Moments: Final Fantasy 6

It’s Final Fantasy 6.  You’ve got your memory back, joined up with a prince and his knight, and are now hiking through a mountain to reach a contact on the other side.  But you’re not alone.  A mysterious figure has been spying on you throughout the trip, and cuts you off near the end of the road.
The man accuses the party of working for his fellow combat student, and prince Edward’s brother, Sabin.  Naturally, reasoning and working things out through talking is for weenies!

And the guy has the uncanny ability to grow 3 times bigger than you in battle.  Great.

Cue the music!

This is Vargas, a martial artist who was apparently training in the mountains to get stronger.  How well has that training paid off?  You need only look at his partners.

Vargas has apparently trained a couple of bears (actually called Ipooh, but we might as well call them bears).  He is so badass, he trained these bears with his bare hands to fight for him!  Just imagine how much bear wrestling it took to prove his superiority and keep them in line just to make them obey him.  Someone call Zangief!  We found a new playmate!

What I love about this setup is not only the bears that show off his badassitude, but his stance.  There are different interpretations you can come up with for Vargas's stance, and all of them make him look powerful.  He’s either in a karate bracing stance, tightening his sash, charging his ki like a Dragon Ball Z character, or all 3.  In every case, that stance is like Vargas’ way of saying “Bring it on!”

The fight itself is also invigorating, as it’s a wake-up call to most players, and the first boss I died at.  Vargas and his bears have a decent amount of health, so you need to utilize healing items to outlast them, because even though it’s 3 on 3, Vargas has the edge in strength.  He can use both his bare fists and a wind attack.  Keep in mind that magic is nigh nonexistent to humans in FF6’s world with very few exceptions, so that means he is so strong, he can punch the wind hard enough to cut your entire party with it.  That is badass!  That's the kind of stuff you expect from Might Guy!
Furthermore, you can’t target Vargus until the bears are gone, so you’ll be hit with the big man’s strong offensive the entire time, which means some strategizing is in order.

That is until you whittle down Vargas’ health a fair bit.  At that point, Sabin makes his appearance and attempts to speak to Vargas.
Apparently Vargas attacked his father (also their master) and fled to the mountains because Vargas thought his father was going to choose Sabin to be the new successor.  Sabin tells him the master was going to choose Vargas anyway, but, Vargas doesn’t believe him.

Vargas then makes it personal, and blows everyone else away with his “blizzard fist” technique, which definitely would have been useful to him earlier.  That leaves only the two manly macho men to settle their differences.  Vargas, however, has apparently learned Hokuto Shin Ken, and makes it so that Sabin dies in a little over a minute if Sabin can’t win first.
It shouldn’t take that long though.  The player is supposed to input a specific command for one of Sabin’s techniques.  Sabin outright tells you how to do it if you wait long enough, but, in what I see as a flaw in the game design, he won't tell you if you keep trying to use his blitz technique and constantly fail.  You're supposed to just wait there.... Wait there while an instant death clock is ticking.
Conveniently, apparently Sabin has also been practicing Hokuto Shin Ken, and uses 北斗百裂拳 (North Star hundred crack fist)!  After a couple hits of that, Vargas seems to be disintegrated by Sabin’s attack, judging by his distinct death animation.  I think with Sabin on our side, this is going to be one easy game.

And that wouldn’t be the last time Sabin stupefied everyone with his godlike might.

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