Ragachak’s Adventure Log #1

So, I’m starting a new experiment. I’m going to do what I call “Ragachak’s Adventure Log” . The name might still change, I’m not completely sold on that. But, it’s a work in progress, really. What I intend to do over the course of the week, is spend my spare time sitting down and playing a single RPG. It might go a few weeks, depending on spare time vs. need to really go into detail. My end goal is to analyze the game, good or bad, and give my thoughts, favorite moments, whatever is necessary. For my first game I’m using the PSP version of “Final Fantasy IV”, since it’s basically the best version of the game to be released.  Spoilers will no doubt exist beyond this point but it IS over 20 years old by now. I don’t really think I can spoil something that old. Regardless, there IS a warning, so here we go!

Act I, Final Fantasy IV:

I separate Final Fantasy IV into acts, because it genuinely feels like a play. I first encountered the game in Nintendo Power [before I owned an SNES] and again the next year when my Uncle rented a Super Nintendo for the weekend for me. Yeah, back then we could rent consoles. This was a game I didn’t really grasp as a kid. It’s a game of emotions.  We have Cecil Harvey, the main character who is a Dark Knight. A character class usually reserved for villains, criminals, or other disturbed persons. Yet, he questions his actions, his position, and is banished for it, set on a mission with parameters he didn’t understand. We meet his love interest, his best friend. We see him commit one more atrocity that he did not want to take part in.

ffiv 1

. . . And just like that, he’s alone. Him and a little girl, whose mother he just killed, alone in the desert.  He finds his love again, meets new friends, and ONCE AGAIN he feels the pang of loss, even if it is not his. Another friend leaves, and two more friends join him. His love, Rosa and a martial artist, Yang, who he saves on the mountain summit. We go to the Yang’s kingdom, and have to mount a hopeless defense. We try, and try, and another blow to the Dark Knight. Betrayal? The one person he expected to stand by him is now his bitter foe, and the puppet master is revealed: Golbez, a man cloaked in darkness and filled with power. But is he really the mastermind? Or is he too, on someone elses’ strings?  And we set sail again, this time on actual water! And what happens? Cecil’s feeling hope again, after his beloved is kidnapped and he was betrayed? The boat is accosted by Leviathan, Lord of the Seas. Now, not only are Rosa and Kain gone, his friends are all dead!

ffiv 2

Cecil is now at the front of the town he sieged and stole from at the very beginning of the game. But he’s convinced he can do so much more than this. His Dark Sword cannot save anyone, all it can do is kill. With two adorable mages at his side, he presses on to Mount Ordeals. If he is worthy, he will become a Paladin.  Everything is against him. None in Mysidia trusts him, Scarmiglione, Devil of Earth lurks in the shadows, and undead and spirits haunt the impossibly large mountain. However, Tellah, the Saga waits in the wings.

ffiv 3

Next time we’ll enter the next act of this epic game. It captured me early as a child; it is basically a fantasy book with graphics. It has potential character development, lives that you can become vested in, and in a way, I felt like it gave me hope, when I was in a situation that was essentially hopeless. If Cecil Harvey can overcome, so can I. What do you think? Any fond memories of this game? Has it spurred you to go try it out if you haven’t? Are there titles you’d like to see me sit down with, whether here or on stream? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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  • Matt Blaylock

    FFIV was far and away my favourite Final Fantasy for a long, long time, until Tactics took it over as my #1. However, both have a lot of emotion, a lot of high-level concepts, and a lot of intrigue. Easily one of my favourite games ever.

    • Ragachak

      Same, really. The first time I played it, I never knew which way the story was going to turn next. It had a huge impact on my writing, and how I approached video games.

  • Clownsaurus

    You better play FFIV on stream. PSP complete collection, of course.

    FFIV hit a lot of basics of good RPGs. The pacing was pretty great, you had a little exploration, some optional side areas, characters with meaningful interactions and dialog that fleshed them out, plus that bomb ass musical score.

    I have a long list of titles I’d like to see here and on stream. Lufia 2, Lufia, FFT, SaGa Frontier, SaGa Frontier II, Rogue Galaxy, Skies of Arcadia, Demons Crest, Inindo: Way of the Ninja, Legend of the Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon… I could go on.

    • Ragachak

      That’s a very strong list. I might do that sometime, Kenny! FFIV on stream that is. First it’s to finish FFX, then I’ve heard the people cry out for FF8. So that comes next. So many things to do! Fear not, I’ll get some quality stuff on the long-play nights.