Our next Final Fantasy podcast recording (11.8.18) - 332: Final Fantasy V

This is where you'll find threads specific to the games we're covering in Volume Six
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JaySevenZero
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Our next Final Fantasy podcast recording (11.8.18) - 332: Final Fantasy V

Post by JaySevenZero » December 31st, 2017, 3:38 pm

Here's where you can leave your thoughts regarding Final Fantasy V for possible inclusion in the podcast when it's recorded.

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duskvstweak
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Re: 332: Final Fantasy V

Post by duskvstweak » April 26th, 2018, 9:58 pm

I first played Final Fantasy V when I was sixteen via the Final Fantasy Anthology collection. At this point, with six through ten covered, along with the first game, I would have claimed Final Fantasy as my favorite series. Five did it's best to challenge my love. While I found a retro charm in the first Final Fantasy's D&D like adventure, the fifth game felt even older and archaic to me. While the first game had little to no story, Final Fantasy V''s story left me bored to tears. The pacing, the characters and the plot were as dry as could be, making the game feel like required reading vs. wanting to play it. It had the job system, which was interesting to play around with, but at that point I had Final Fantasy Tactics to cover that mechanic. It seems strange that this game is between Final Fantasy IV and VI, because they're both examples of fun story telling, where as this game had me struggling after each hour to keep going. Out of the first ten games, this entry remains my least favorite experience, one that, fifteen years later, I remember with boredom rather than any sense of nostalgia.
Except the pirate music. I like the pirate music.

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Re: 332: Final Fantasy V

Post by Magical_Isopod » June 1st, 2018, 7:43 pm

In my mind, Final Fantasy V is the most underplayed and underrated in the entire series. It's really a hidden gem as far as Final Fantasy titles go. It's now had four releases in the west, but these include a buggy PS1 release with excruciating load times, a GBA release late in the handheld's life, and ugly "remasters" on the iOS and Steam platforms. As a result, I think a lot of people have not only declined to try this game, but have also been scared off by three of four releases being kind of garbo.

I've personally played FF5 on PS1 and GBA. The PS1 version had a game-ending bug for me where an NPC was blocked by another NPC that was not supposed to be in the scene; reloading my save did not fix the issue. I strongly advise listeners avoid this version! However, the GBA version really ought to be considered the definitive version, and in my mind, the only good version of this game readily available in the west. It features a significantly improved translation, new job classes, cleaner graphics, and greatly improved music, eliminating some of the high-pitched screeching in some of the original SNES tunes.

The job class system makes this my favourite battle system of the series, with the exception of maybe 7. There is so much diversity in the selection of jobs, so much variety in experimentation... Want a dedicated Healer that can throw spare change at enemies? You got it. Want a Knight who can steal? Done.

5 also features my favourite villain in the series - ExDeath. I seem to be alone in this view, but I'm not sure why: Instead of being an overblown anime antagonist, ExDeath is evil made manifest - the result of dark spirits being sealed into a tree, so many that the tree could no longer contain the dark energy. He is a constant threat throughout the entire game, and there is no last-second swap-out for a "greater evil behind the curtain". ExDeath does some absolutely horrible things in this game, and the stakes are constantly being raised in pursuit of this guy. He's a bit of a cackling fantasy cliche, but that just makes him better. He's not a dark, brooding, tormented teenager - he's evil, he knows it, he chews the stage. He's an absolute delight. His lackeys are constantly messing up, and when he has to take things into his own hands, he can absolutely wreck house if you're not prepared. Kefka does some absolutely atrocious things in FF6, but his appearances leave you feeling depressed and unsettled... With ExDeath, it's almost like a parade coming into town. His theme absolutely bellows, he has an entourage, he even sucks an entire continent into a trans-dimensional void and dares you to come after him. It's an absolute joy!

I've also seen this game incorrectly described as, "Just another crystal hunt", similar to the driving force of the first game... But this just isn't the case. Not only is gaining all four crystals not the main thrust of the plot, but your party actually fails in that goal - all four of them get destroyed. ExDeath wins. And despite this, the story continues. The party faces their "darkest hour", and they overcome it. It's a fairly classic fantasy story, but with a lot of really cool elements including shifting dimensions, lost civilizations, and paranormal forces. It's just a wonderful game, and I really, strongly feel it hasn't been given a fair shake by fans and media.

Oh, and it's got some of the best music in the series... That overworld theme! The ExDeath motif! Battle on the Bridge! Love this game. Please play it, listeners.

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