HAVE YOU PLAYED FINAL FANTASY I? WHY NOT?

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First time I beat it, my party was Fighter, Thief, Monk and Red Mage. A physically oriented party with Red providing basic curing and the indispensable Exit spell.
Then I beat it with a standard fighter, fighter, white mage, black mage, and then beat it again with 3 monks and a white mage (that run was kind of boring).
All of that was before emulation was a thing. Yeah, we had lots of free time in the 90s.
I first played the NES version in '91 or '92.
It was one of my first RPGs along with Dragon Warrior (DQ1) so both games became my first references when it comes to traditional RPGs.

FF1 introduced me to fantasy and DnD-like themes, elemental magic, classes, resource management, elves and dwarves, flying fortresses, etc.
Being a French-speaking 5 year-old, the game helped me start to learn English.
My older brothers gave me tips on the best spells to buy, the location of important treasure chests, the importance of setting the battle speed to max on the title screen :P
...Reading the manual, items lists and the bestiary that came with the game was also very useful and made me feel more invested in the game.

I played a lot as a kid and beat it a few times. I was lucky enough to encounter WarMech (Death Machine) the first time I walked through Tiamat's corridor.
I didn't get to play many other RPGs until '94 or '95, so FF1 was very enjoyable to me at the time.

I'd say that the original game's most frustrating flaws are:
-The high miss rate of your characters' attacks (but that becomes much less of a problem once you've gained a few levels and a couple of weapon upgrades).
-The large variation in power of enemies within a single dungeon.
-Being unable to delete magic spells and replace them.
-Having to buy one item at a time (quite annoying when you need 99 potions and antidotes)
-Having only one save slot.

Remakes fixed some of those issues of course. I enjoyed the GBA version years later and I think that version still holds up today, if only in terms of gameplay.
Maybe once I get my hands on the mini NES I will attempt FF1 again
I've never heard of Warmech before. That's pretty cool!
author=Avee
-Having to buy one item at a time (quite annoying when you need 99 potions and antidotes)


I played on an emulator and I'm not ashamed to say that I used its fast forward to feature to quickly buy as many potions as I needed. I normally don't like to cheat using emulators, but I didn't have the patience for that.
Dragnfly
Beta testers!? No, this game needs a goddamn exorcist!
1809
I divide cheating into if I'm making a game easier, who all is affected by my cheating or if the cheating is some utility to get around a poor or short-sighted design.

For example, I was testing a game that was already shown to have some passability issues (already a very time-consuming task, bumping into every wall.) and then I got to an area where touching walls damaged you. So darn right I made myself invincible. It would've taken all week to test that one area otherwise.

A lot of old games had stuff that just sucked up time. They just didn't know better back then. Stock buying being one of them, especially if the shopkeeper thanks you and it plays a tune with each purchase.
I have beaten FF1 about 20 times. My favorite aspect, by far, is the party selection. There is some degree of strategy that goes into choosing a party that will complete the game in the shortest amount of time. I generally think the optimal party for speed is 2 Fighters, 1 Black / Red Mage, and 1 Red / White Mage; but it is rather time consuming to narrow it down any further than that. I would probably make some adjustments to the end game difficulty so that the Black Belt's end game power was relevant enough to make the class a possible consideration, and just make radical changes to the Thief class so that it wasn't complete garbage. I also like the fact that the game contains the Provoka-adjacent experience beacon, whereby when you're still extremely early in the game, you can encounter very high level monsters from the second half of the game and fight nigh-unwinnable battles for massive Exp / Gold rewards. I decided to incorporate similar experience beacons in my game so that the player could speed-up grinding if they were feeling frisky.

Things the game was poor at: really slow message boxes, slow shopping experience, slow grinding experience, all dialogue is uber generic, and numerous other grievances that can be readily excused since it's an NES game. FF1 was honestly extraordinarily great relative to the platform.

author=Luiishu535
There was this cave that triggered a random battle every step (it was ridiculous).
That was just one elbow of the first floor of the Earth Cave, and it's not an area you have to pass through to complete the cave. To get to the second floor, you go in the other direction.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5958
Oh yeah, back in FF1, they thought that maybe increasing the encounter rate to 1 step per battle would be a good punishment for going the wrong way in a maze. GOOD TIMES.

We have learned a little more about game design since then fortunately
Wasn't that the "Hall of Giants", specifically made such to act as one of the "experience beacons" that LDanarkos mentions? Each Giant gave you massive amounts of experience and gold. I remember that from the strategy guide.
Well, the real experience beacon was near the second town in the game where you could fight ZomBulls, Trolls, FrostWolfs, and Pedes; which rewarded enough exp and gold that you basically leveled-up every single battle.

But the hall of giants was a decent place to grind exp at the Earth Cave. You didn't have to walk like 11 steps to trigger a random encounter, and you were confronted with 4 Giants, so it was a good place to unload your best magic, collect some good exp, and not waste a lot of time wandering around seeking encounters. If you tried to beat the Earth fiend and died, and needed to grind exp, then this is where you would do it while you were ramping-up for the rematch.
author=LDanarkos
Well, the real experience beacon was near the second town in the game where you could fight ZomBulls, Trolls, FrostWolfs, and Pedes; which rewarded enough exp and gold that you basically leveled-up every single battle.

But the hall of giants was a decent place to grind exp at the Earth Cave. You didn't have to walk like 11 steps to trigger a random encounter, and you were confronted with 4 Giants, so it was a good place to unload your best magic, collect some good exp, and not waste a lot of time wandering around seeking encounters. If you tried to beat the Earth fiend and died, and needed to grind exp, then this is where you would do it while you were ramping-up for the rematch.


And not to mention get money. Having enough money for spells can be difficult in that game depending on your party. Having to grind outside of Elfland to be able to afford anything is a pretty infamous part of the game.
harmonic
It's like toothpicks against a tank
4142
Old guy here so yeah.

First time I played was like the year 1990. My older brother had a party of 4 black belts whose names were in all caps, all named after drugs. I think they were named ACID, LSD!, CRAK, and METH.

He did not beat the game. He gave up at the ice cave when he was too high to figure out how to revive party members.

Then I played a game with Fighter, Red Mage, White Mage, Black Mage, which is one of the "recommended" top tier set ups and grinded all the way to level 50 fighting Warmech and other monsters around there.

In my older age, I went back and did solo runs. I've beaten it with solo characters for every class except Thief and Black Mage, which I believe to be impossible without life-wasting levels of save scumming :(

Fighter, Black Belt, and Red Mage I knew would be easy, and it was. White Mage was also surprisingly easy, though less so.
author=Dragnfly
I divide cheating into if I'm making a game easier, who all is affected by my cheating or if the cheating is some utility to get around a poor or short-sighted design.

For example, I was testing a game that was already shown to have some passability issues (already a very time-consuming task, bumping into every wall.) and then I got to an area where touching walls damaged you. So darn right I made myself invincible. It would've taken all week to test that one area otherwise.

A lot of old games had stuff that just sucked up time. They just didn't know better back then. Stock buying being one of them, especially if the shopkeeper thanks you and it plays a tune with each purchase.


Like the Shopkeepers in Front Mission 1. I do like being thanked for purchasing a giant robot death machine tho. That and the digitized voice was rather impressive back in the day. (Luckily it didn't take that much time since you bought a bunch of items at once, hehe.)

I've played FF1 on nes emu, beat Garland, honked the pirates, sailed my ship across the seven seas, ravaged elves, I mean uh bought a bunch of their stuff and killed some goblins. Don't think I got much further than that tho. The grind was real. Which is saying something, because I got 100% job completion rate in FF5 on the ps1 anthology disc, no speed hacks, cheats, etc...So many hours of grinding... Now I'm replaying the gba version on emu with a finger hovered over fast forward at all times.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5958
ITT: Pretty much everyone has played FF1
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
32367
LockeZ
ITT: Pretty much everyone has played FF1


Yeah...pretty much. Great thread, but I think the original premise absolutely failed.
Dragnfly
Beta testers!? No, this game needs a goddamn exorcist!
1809
I forget what my very first team was named (I had some restarts), but I do remember at some point I had a team named FGTR BELT BLAK and WHIT.
Craze
why would i heal when i could equip a morningstar
15170
pianotm
LockeZ
ITT: Pretty much everyone has played FF1
Yeah...pretty much. Great thread, but I think the original premise absolutely failed.


my original premise was just to maybe start talking about how ff1 had some interesting ideas about storytelling, non-linearity, and player choice, but hey. you guys went on and chatted for three pages so i ain't complaining

...also i got really wrapped up in work/gam mak this week and forgot i posted the topic, so i'm glad it did get positive attention
Dragnfly
Beta testers!? No, this game needs a goddamn exorcist!
1809
Hey, it had a plot twist. That was absolutely amazing stuff back then.
Craze
why would i heal when i could equip a morningstar
15170
there's more to it than that. the whole thing was a series of breadcrumbs that lead you toward the crystals. my favorite bit is probably the robot behind a waterfall that you can find, leading you to the first example in FF history of technology being a failure state. (hellllllo japanese zeitgeist)
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
32367
Just because I can't, in good conscience, let a Final Fantasy game go unfinished, I'm going to give it another go.