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[Let's Play] Fighting Fantasy #54 - Legend of Zagor!
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Which of the below meatgrinders do you prefer to play first?
FF9: Caverns of the Snow Witch
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
FF21: Trial of Champions
11%
 11%  [ 1 ]
FF26: Crypt of the Sorcerer
11%
 11%  [ 1 ]
FF46: Tower of Destruction
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
FF51: Island of the Undead
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
FF53: Spellbreaker
11%
 11%  [ 1 ]
FF54: Legend of Zagor
44%
 44%  [ 4 ]
FF58: Revenge of the Vampire
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
FF59: Curse of the Mummy
22%
 22%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 9

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MisterDee
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Rope for 318, Alex.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Rope is correct, but I'm not sure how you got the number 318. The actual section is 324 (54 x6). Still the answer itself is correct:

Quote:
You know you must fling the body of the Zagor-Demon into the Heartfires. What you do not know is how swiftly you must do this. You must decide now - not knowing how much time you have, as the Great Tower shudders around you - if you wish lo do anything before you begin your descent with the body. You can perform as many actions as you wish; eating some Provisions, drinking a Potion or casting a spell are the most obvious options. Decide which actions you wish to take before you set off for the Heartfires, then turn to 297.


We actually don't have much options here. Our stats are mostly full except Magic, but we can't to anything to replenish those. We are also missing just 1 LUCK point which we lost from the Luck Test earlier, and that can be restored with a Luck Spell.

Do we want to spend any more time here?

Adventure Sheet:
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MisterDee
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I blame the baby-induced brainfart.

No action, let's just hurry.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, I think we're good. Move on.
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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Cheese it.
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FrankTrollman wrote:
And if there are any weeds that grow better in barren soil than laziness and ignorance, I don't know what they are (and don't care enough to find out).
Kaelik wrote:
Because powerful men get away with terrible shit, and even the public domain ones get ignored, and then, when the floodgates open, it turns out there was a goddam flood behind it.
FrankTrollman wrote:
As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.


Zak S, Zak Smith, Dndwithpornstars, Zak Sabbath. He is a terrible person and a hack at writing and art. His cultural contributions are less than Justin Bieber's, and he's a shitmuffin. Go go gadget Googlebomb!
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
You have a certain amount of time to get to the Heartfires; you do not know how much time but from now on you must keep track of the number of seconds it takes you to get there. If you have picked up any Gold Zagors, you have already taken 100 seconds. You have taken 80 seconds for each portion of provisions you have forced down. Either drinking a Potion or casting a spell will have taken you 20 seconds. If you have drunk a Potion of Flying, however, you will be able to move more swiftly and unless you are told otherwise, you can halve the number of seconds you take for all movement to the Heartfires (you will be told how many seconds you need for various movements in later paragraphs). You may stop and perform any of these actions during your journey, but you must add the appropriate number of seconds to the time elapsed: if you want to perform any action, you must make a note of the paragraph number where you stop and perform that action, then turn to 255. Now you pick up Zagor's body; tum to 85.


Alas, the one Potion that would have been useful here has already been used up!

Because we stopped to loot the Gold Zagors, we've already spent 100 seconds! Will Jallarial's greed doom her?

Quote:
Make a note that, when you have taken 500 seconds or longer on your journey, you must note down the number of your paragraph, then turn at once to 219. For now, you carry the body down the steps and through the arch to the beam of light, which deposits you on the Dragon's stone platform. This takes 50 seconds.


Time spent = 150 seconds

Quote:
If you have taken a Potion of Flying, you can now swoop down without taking any time; turn to 286. Otherwise, you have a choice you can climb down one of the rope-ladders hanging from the platform or you can pray to the gods and goddesses of Amarillia to protect you and jump the twenty-five metres to the ground.


Do we jump?
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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Full health and nearly full luck. Jump.
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FrankTrollman wrote:
And if there are any weeds that grow better in barren soil than laziness and ignorance, I don't know what they are (and don't care enough to find out).
Kaelik wrote:
Because powerful men get away with terrible shit, and even the public domain ones get ignored, and then, when the floodgates open, it turns out there was a goddam flood behind it.
FrankTrollman wrote:
As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.


Zak S, Zak Smith, Dndwithpornstars, Zak Sabbath. He is a terrible person and a hack at writing and art. His cultural contributions are less than Justin Bieber's, and he's a shitmuffin. Go go gadget Googlebomb!
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Jump.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

My only concern is if the result is something like "you sprain an ankle and must now spend 2x the number of seconds for each section"...

Eh, what the hell. Jump and use the body as a mattress. Mr. Green
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Test your Luck. If you are Lucky, you lose only 1 STAMINA point from the fall, surely the heavens have smiled upon you! Gain 2 LUCK points. If you are Unlucky, lose 6 STAMINA points - but even that is better than you might have expected, so. gain 1 LUCK point anyway. You take another 30 seconds to get through the Dragon's chamber. To head onwards, turn to 286.


Luck Test = 9 (Unlucky!)

STAMINA is down to 17. At least we still get the LUCK back!

Time spent = 180 seconds.

Quote:
The dreaded Corridor of Fear awaits you - can you sustain your will and not be slowed down by the terrible phantoms of fear and despair that await you here? Test your Luck. If you are Lucky, you get through the corridor in 50 seconds; if you are Unlucky, it takes 100 seconds (a Potion of Flying will not alter these times). With mounting desperation you race ever onwards; turn to 8!


Luck Test = 9 again (Unlucky)!

Time spent = 280 seconds.

Quote:
The crystal doors below the wooden stairway are sundered; you find that all doors open before you as the howl of angry, chaotic magic swirls and screams about you. All is pandemonium. You feel as if you are moving in a dream, hardly aware any longer who you are or where exactly you are going, just guided onwards by intuition, willpower and sheer guts! You race through the carnage of Thulu's Throne Room and southwards towards the stone bridge. This has taken you another 100 seconds. Now you must make a crucial decision as you race across the stone bridge. The more LUCK points you spend, the faster you will be able to move, dodging obstacles and the like - but the more difficult any Test your Luck roll will become! You may spend up to 5 LUCK points. Decide how many you want to spend, then turn to 222.


Time spent = 380 seconds.

Our LUCK is at 7. Do we want to spend any? How much?
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's almost certain that there will be another LUCK test after this, so I'm going to be conservative and say 1 LUCK point, at most. (I can go with 0 as well.)

(ETA: Also, I don't seem to recall any stone bridge?)


Last edited by Sirocco on Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

They're not telling us up front how many seconds per Luck Point let alone how important that will be, so don't even play that game. Spend 0 Luck.
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FrankTrollman wrote:
And if there are any weeds that grow better in barren soil than laziness and ignorance, I don't know what they are (and don't care enough to find out).
Kaelik wrote:
Because powerful men get away with terrible shit, and even the public domain ones get ignored, and then, when the floodgates open, it turns out there was a goddam flood behind it.
FrankTrollman wrote:
As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.


Zak S, Zak Smith, Dndwithpornstars, Zak Sabbath. He is a terrible person and a hack at writing and art. His cultural contributions are less than Justin Bieber's, and he's a shitmuffin. Go go gadget Googlebomb!
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MisterDee
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'd have gone the other way, blowing the full five points on the theory that we'll at least get some use out of them, whereas at seven luck we're quite likely to to fail any luck test.
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

We've already gone through enough crap that I'd blow ~3 Luck points. I seriously doubt they'll pull another stunt on us after this one, escape sequence is long enough as is.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Are we likely to need to blow more Luck after deep-sixing the Demon-Warlock's body into the phlebotium soul-blender?

Unlikely.

We might as well dump 5 luck points to save from being delayed.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

4 different votes! Fortunately, Judging__Eagle brought the 4-way tie-breaker, and we spend the full 5 LUCK:

Quote:
You take an extra 120 seconds to get across the bridge, less 15 seconds for each point of LUCK you decided to spend (if you are using a Potion of Flying, the basic 120 seconds is reduced to 60, but the absolute minimum time you need to cross, no matter how many LUCK points you spent, is 10 seconds). Right at the bottom of the bridge you must Test your Luck. If you are Lucky, tum to 14. If you are Unlucky, turn to 60.


Having spent 5 LUCK, we took only 45 seconds.

Time spent = 425 seconds. However, we have only 2 LUCK left. Can we somehow roll a double-1 and pass the Luck Test?

Dice roll = 8 (Unlucky).

Oh well, at least we wouldn't have passed that test even if we didn't spend any LUCK, so good choice, I suppose....

Quote:
You stumble and fall, banging your head on stone; deduct 4 points from your STAMINA. If you are still alive, you pick up the body again and stagger on. Roll two dice and multiply the number rolled by ten; add this many seconds to the time elapsed (a Potion of Flying does not reduce this time). You are so, so close now, but will you triumph?


STAMINA down to 13.

Dice roll = 7! We took 70 more seconds.

Time spent = 495 seconds! That was close.....presumably something bad happens at 500.

Quote:
As you race through the guardrooms on your way to the southern passageway, the scream of chaotic magic in Castle Agent becomes almost unbearable. Weird phantasms and illusions dance before your eyes; ducking and dodging to avoid them, you need another 30 seconds to cross the passageway (a Potion of Flying will not reduce this time but if you have a Ring of Truesight, you may reduce the time to 10 seconds). You fling open the door leading to the chasm of the Heartfires and race to the edge. If you have 4 or more STAMINA points left, tum to 400. If you have 3 or fewer STAMIAN points left, tum to 310.


Section 400?! Victory must be close at hand! We have more than 4 STAMINA left.....however, that additional 30 seconds just brought us over the 500 limit.....

Quote:
The Zagor-Demon's eyes jerk open and its taloned hands grab at your body, clutching you tightly and hampering your every movement. From now on the number of seconds you take to progress with the body will be doubled for all movement to the Heartfires! If your journey takes 800 seconds or longer, make a note to turn to 21 immediately. Now turn back to the paragraph you came from.


Well, we were at 495, 5 of those additional 30 seconds took us to 500, the remaining 25 now equates to 50 seconds due to the talons slowing us down.

Total time = 550 seconds. Still some way to go before we hit 800, so we're safe!

Quote:
You drop the body of the Zagor-Demon into the chasm of the Heartfires, and a terrible scream rises from the bottomless depths below. The fires burn with an unbearable heat and you stagger backwards, going eastwards along the passageway beyond the chasm, and reel out through the doors of Castle Argent. You really don't remember too much after that.

When you regain awareness, you feel a cool sea-breeze playing across your face. You cough and splutter as a draught of best Crab Island rum is poured down your throat. The smiling face of a Centaur, with just a hint of tears shining in his eyes, swims into focus above you. 'We had to deal with a few Orcs who seemed interested in running you through with their swords,' he says softly, 'but, well, that was the least we could do. Welcome back!' The sailors on the deck of the Glory of Amarillia give you a rousing cheer, and surely greater glory awaits you when you return to Sanctuary. Amarillia is still a troubled land with many evils - but now it has the chance of survival, thanks to you!


And finally, it's over! This is probably the longest single-book LP I've run so far! Congratulations for successfully completing one of the harder books in the series (even if we did die twice in the process)!

I'll be away during the weekend, so it'll be a few days before I wrap us this with the stuff that we missed in the playthrough. As usual, any specific questions/requests, feel free to name them!
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Thaluikhain
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Oh, congratulations!

This is one of a long number of FF books that I tended to get a third of the way through before dying and giving up in frustration after a few times.

Actually, I've got the best part of a shelf full of gamebooks (bout half FF ones, though I prefer the more obscure and weird titles), should have a look at them again.

But...only 2 deaths, and with a little more luck you'd not have had those, well done.
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SGamerz
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thaluikhain wrote:
Oh, congratulations!

This is one of a long number of FF books that I tended to get a third of the way through before dying and giving up in frustration after a few times.

Actually, I've got the best part of a shelf full of gamebooks (bout half FF ones, though I prefer the more obscure and weird titles), should have a look at them again.

But...only 2 deaths, and with a little more luck you'd not have had those, well done.


Generally, it's not that hard to figure out how to win one of Keith Martin's later books: explore every single area because chances are there'll be something useful for a later encounter. We pretty much took that route in the later half of the game. The difficulty is mainly the number of difficult opponents or some random bad dice roll screwing you over. That's why we decided to tackle this book with the "Maximum possible starting stats" rule, and I think that helped a lot. Even then we ran out of Provisions no less than twice.

Another factor that almost definitely made this playthrough easier was my interpretation of the rules for opening the Tower Chests, which may or may not have been how the author originally intended. If I had gone the "we regain our LUCK only if we don't trigger the chests' trap" route, we'd have run out of LUCK long ago, and probably would have brought us at least a few more deaths.

Now, on to the stuff we missed in this playthrough:

As mentioned earlier, the way to play most of Keith Martin's books is to find a way to explore every area, and as you can see from both this book and Vault of the Vampire, he almost always splits his dungeons into a number of "Hub" areas, where in each of them you get to revisit every room, but once you move on to a new "hub" you can't turn back. The difficulty is sometimes you're not really sure which door or passage will move you on to the next hub-central. This means that most players are unlikely to win at the first or second attempt but it seldom takes more than 3-5 tries before one figure which is the "true path". We more or less succeeded in covering all the areas in the later half of the game, we did miss a few significant spots in the early half. And mainly it was the "missed spot" that closed off the option to visit some of the later areas.

The first important area where we made a "wrong" vote was choosing not to go to the Library. You guys speculated that the loot there will probably be scrolls and therefore not useful to us. On the contrary, in FF gamebooks the library contains important information 99% of the time! Big Grin

The library had a Tower Chest...but that's not the biggest prize. It also has a secret tunnel that would have led us to the secret hideout of a bunch thieves:

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Yes, one of them would be the "thief hireling" that we saw referenced throughout much of the book. We can hire him for 4GP, and he'll help us unlock all doors with non-magical locks....but not Tower Chests. He can also help us in combats by giving us a +2 attack Strength bonus.....but only for 3 fights, after which he will leave us (we can choose when we want his help in combat). He will also not enter the Throne Room, but if we used the Teleporting device instead of passing through the Throne Room then we can actually take him to the next level! The furthest he can possibly go is the Great Tower, because he WILL run away if we meet any dragons (and we can't avoid the War Dragon).

Speaking of the Teleporter, there's actually a possible minor inconsistency at the end of the book: after we defeat Zagor, we actually passed through the Throne Room again on our way to the Heartfires, and met with no opposition. It is assumed that we dealt with all the threat there earlier when we were on our way up to find Zagor, but the book doesn't take into account the possibility that we could have bypassed the Throne Room earlier via the Teleporter.

Anyway, back to the thieves: there's also important information to be gained from them. We would have gained some information about a few locations on that level, including the healing fountain and the hidden lair of some Castle Imps. But the most important information is that there's a shopkeeper in the castle (yeah, random shopkeeper in monster-filled dungeon. Shades of WoFTM! Makes one wonder if Ian Livingstone did co-write parts of this after all). We would learn his name from the thieves: Cohsturre (and will later have to convert his name to numbers when we meet said shopkeeper).

Here's the shopkeeper's pic:

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We can also meet the shopkeeper even without the information from the thieves....but knowing his name in advance allows us to unlock a quest item. If we spend more than 8GP in his shop, he will give us the green-crystal key which would unlock one of the doors we failed to open.

The shopkeeper sells a lot of stuff that we can find elsewhere: rope, antidotes for plague and poison, plate armour, Magic Ring, Potion of Luck, bow and arrows (including magical ones). For unique items he has grave dust (which deals 50% STAMINA damage to all undead) and a genie bottle (which helps you auto-defeat any one enemy (but doesn't work on undead, animated armour, dragons or Zagor).

The most unique part about this shop is that you can revisit it as often as you like as long as you're on that level of the castle. Once you move on to the next level, you no longer have the option. So if you found it the first time but didn't have enough cash on you to buy what you want, you still have a chance to buy it later when you find sufficient loot.

Anyway, the green crystal key unlocks a room where we would be able to pick up 4 gemstones which in turn will help us unlock another door later on. We will also find the Ring of Truesight (helps us see through illusions) in this room, after defeating its undead plague-carrying guardian.

The above-mentioned gemstones helps us unlock the Chamber of Meditation in the Bronze Stride, which gives us a 1-shot full STAMINA restore. We also don't have to use it immediately, but can com back any time for the heal as long as we are in the Bronze Stride.

The Ring of Truesight will uncover a hidden room right before we encounter Zagor. The secret chamber allows us to "sacrifice" a LUCK point (Initial and current) for a temporary 2-point boost in either SKILL or STAMINA (also Initial and current).

If we had taken the time to search the knight quarters (where we found the Orcslayer sword) thoroughly, we could also have found another Potion of Flying, which would have helped us against the War Dragon.

Other than the rooms we couldn't unlock due to missing plot coupons, we only missed one other memorable encounter in the later part of the book. Specifically, we missed it because we were forced to run from some exploding acid monster (and yes, we would have taken damage if we stayed). It actually isn't particularly important, but had lots of potential and was mildly amusing:

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


Basically, the caged animal is an "Iron Hog". If we free it from its captor (the orcs), we have to opportunity to pet it. But don't feel bad, because we couldn't have succeeded in this playthrough even if we found the Hog. We needed the iron spikes that we could have looted after beating Mungus the Torturer. But since we died in combat against Mungus and chose to avoid him the second time, we didn't have the spikes. The Iron Hog eats metal, so it'll follow us if we had the spikes to feed him. It will also give us some minor aid in combat against armoured opponents by eating their armour and reduing their Attack Strength by 1. Like the thief hireling, it runs away when we meet a dragon.

I think that's most of the significant stuff we missed. Like I said, the overall design is quite familiar (explore every place grab every object, use said object to beat tough opponents at the end), although the fact that we have 4 possible starting characters has some negative effects on it. Usually, in this kind of book 97% of the location would contain something helpful, but with 4 characters ach having their own unique abilities, there were several locations which were not at all rewarding to 3/4 of the character classes (Jallarial for example went through some tough fights and didn't get any reward because the loot consist of things she doesn't need/use and were meant for other characters, which I think contributed to the choice not to visit the library, because most of you didn't expect anything useful there). I do rather like the ending sequence though, a slight deviation from typical ending of just winning the game after beating a super stat opponent in combat.

Anyway, since there's no other requests, that wraps up this thread. Hope you guys had fun this long playthrough!

I'll be starting my next (non-FF) LP some time next week. It's one I'd been wanting to do for quite some time. Hope you guys will still be interested. Thanks for playing!
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The ending being an other mini game was interesting. Usually FF books end in a combat with the big bad (with or w/out ways to weaken them beforehand) or the player using some form of arbitrarium object to disable/defeat/convert the big bad. Having to "finish" the mission on a time limit reminded me of how every FF book tends to have their own unique mechanics for some portion of the total book.
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Thaluikhain
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Somewhat surprised by lack of Mean Girls references given there's a monster called "Grool".
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Darth Rabbitt
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm more ashamed I didn't use this at any point in the fight with him:


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