Final Fantasy VI: My Quest to Finish a Lengthy RPG

Posted by MattyFTM (14341 posts) -
Exhibit A: One of the many games I enjoyed, but have been unable to complete

It's not much of a secret that I am terrible at beating games. I wouldn't say I have a short attention span, but longer games usually get somewhat formulaic and repetitive, so I'll stop playing for a while and play something else. That new game quickly becomes my main focus and I forget the former game even exists. Case in point: I have started the original Mass Effect three times. I love everything I've seen and heard about the Mass Effect universe. I love sci-fi and Mass Effect seems like a wonderful world filled with a colourful and vibrant backstory. The first time I played it I got to the first driving section and absolutely hated it, put the controller down and just never picked it up again. The second time I powered on though that part, but ended up getting distracted by another game not too long after. The third time I gave up half way though the citadel stuff because I was doing the same shit I had already done 2 times before.

OK, maybe I do have a short attention span.

Right now, I'm trying to play through Final Fantasy VI. 16-bit (and earlier) console games are a bit of a blank spot in my gaming knowledge. Prior to getting a PlayStation, most of my gaming was confined to the Amiga (and the Philips CDi, but the less said about that the better) so I missed out on a ton of great SNES and Mega Drive games. Apart from the obvious games that have been re-released a million times on a million different platforms (e.g.Mario, Sonic etc.) I've played very few console games from prior to the Playstation. That is something I want to rectify, and what better way to start than with Final Fantasy VI, a game that many consider to be one of the greatest RPG's of all time.

So, fully aware of my attention span issues, I set off on my adventure. It was going along swimmingly. I was loving the story, the characters and the world. The plot was fantastic. It was keeping enough suspense to make it intriguing, but bringing in new plot developments regularly enough to keep things moving forward at a good pace. The story behind the Espers and the War of the Magi was really appealing, and the current war with the Returners fighting Kefka and the Empire was engaging. The characters were varied and interesting, with the world itself being just as diverse.

10 hours in I was feeling great. This was finally going to be the game that breaks my long string of unfinished games. But I always feel like that when I'm playing through the early parts of a lengthy game. Going back to an earlier example, I felt the exact same way about Mass Effect while I was playing through the Citadel sections for the first time. And we all know how that ended.

As I continued, the game started to take it's toll. It became more repetitive. I had to spend time grinding enemies on the Veldt to teach Gau new rages, and to learn new spells from the Magicite. I powered on through this for a while and made my way through Zozo (what the fuck is up with that town?) and on to the Magitek Research Facility. Just over a week ago I reached my breaking point. With the game clock at 17 hours and 51 minutes, I couldn't play any more. Having just infiltrated the research facility, fought a bunch of difficult enemies and gained 7 new types of Magicite, it would time to do some more grinding. I need to learn some new spells and teach Gau more rages. I would be crazy to just plough through the story without learning new stuff first, but I just didn't feel any desire to engage in more repetitive battles.

Frozen Synapse. The perfect game to play on my break from FFVI

But, my story isn't over yet. After giving it a break of just over a week I think I'm ready to jump back into it. I want to further the story, I'm happy to do a certain amount of grinding to achieve that. I think I've figured out how to play lengthy games. I just need to take a break for a while in the middle. Normally within a week of putting down the controller on a lengthy experience I would have found another game to occupy my time and I wouldn't touch the game I stopped playing. But I have stopped myself from doing that. I have played some games, namely Frozen Synapse (which is awesome) and the original Rayman (which I haven't played since childhood and is full of nostalgia) but nothing super in depth. And that has kept my desire to continue the story in FF VI alive.

So, will I complete the game? I certainly hope so. It might take another break after a further 10-15 hours, but hopefully I'll be able to remain undistracted and keep on going to the end. I'll be sure to keep you updated on how it's going.

Moderator
#1 Posted by MattyFTM (14341 posts) -
Exhibit A: One of the many games I enjoyed, but have been unable to complete

It's not much of a secret that I am terrible at beating games. I wouldn't say I have a short attention span, but longer games usually get somewhat formulaic and repetitive, so I'll stop playing for a while and play something else. That new game quickly becomes my main focus and I forget the former game even exists. Case in point: I have started the original Mass Effect three times. I love everything I've seen and heard about the Mass Effect universe. I love sci-fi and Mass Effect seems like a wonderful world filled with a colourful and vibrant backstory. The first time I played it I got to the first driving section and absolutely hated it, put the controller down and just never picked it up again. The second time I powered on though that part, but ended up getting distracted by another game not too long after. The third time I gave up half way though the citadel stuff because I was doing the same shit I had already done 2 times before.

OK, maybe I do have a short attention span.

Right now, I'm trying to play through Final Fantasy VI. 16-bit (and earlier) console games are a bit of a blank spot in my gaming knowledge. Prior to getting a PlayStation, most of my gaming was confined to the Amiga (and the Philips CDi, but the less said about that the better) so I missed out on a ton of great SNES and Mega Drive games. Apart from the obvious games that have been re-released a million times on a million different platforms (e.g.Mario, Sonic etc.) I've played very few console games from prior to the Playstation. That is something I want to rectify, and what better way to start than with Final Fantasy VI, a game that many consider to be one of the greatest RPG's of all time.

So, fully aware of my attention span issues, I set off on my adventure. It was going along swimmingly. I was loving the story, the characters and the world. The plot was fantastic. It was keeping enough suspense to make it intriguing, but bringing in new plot developments regularly enough to keep things moving forward at a good pace. The story behind the Espers and the War of the Magi was really appealing, and the current war with the Returners fighting Kefka and the Empire was engaging. The characters were varied and interesting, with the world itself being just as diverse.

10 hours in I was feeling great. This was finally going to be the game that breaks my long string of unfinished games. But I always feel like that when I'm playing through the early parts of a lengthy game. Going back to an earlier example, I felt the exact same way about Mass Effect while I was playing through the Citadel sections for the first time. And we all know how that ended.

As I continued, the game started to take it's toll. It became more repetitive. I had to spend time grinding enemies on the Veldt to teach Gau new rages, and to learn new spells from the Magicite. I powered on through this for a while and made my way through Zozo (what the fuck is up with that town?) and on to the Magitek Research Facility. Just over a week ago I reached my breaking point. With the game clock at 17 hours and 51 minutes, I couldn't play any more. Having just infiltrated the research facility, fought a bunch of difficult enemies and gained 7 new types of Magicite, it would time to do some more grinding. I need to learn some new spells and teach Gau more rages. I would be crazy to just plough through the story without learning new stuff first, but I just didn't feel any desire to engage in more repetitive battles.

Frozen Synapse. The perfect game to play on my break from FFVI

But, my story isn't over yet. After giving it a break of just over a week I think I'm ready to jump back into it. I want to further the story, I'm happy to do a certain amount of grinding to achieve that. I think I've figured out how to play lengthy games. I just need to take a break for a while in the middle. Normally within a week of putting down the controller on a lengthy experience I would have found another game to occupy my time and I wouldn't touch the game I stopped playing. But I have stopped myself from doing that. I have played some games, namely Frozen Synapse (which is awesome) and the original Rayman (which I haven't played since childhood and is full of nostalgia) but nothing super in depth. And that has kept my desire to continue the story in FF VI alive.

So, will I complete the game? I certainly hope so. It might take another break after a further 10-15 hours, but hopefully I'll be able to remain undistracted and keep on going to the end. I'll be sure to keep you updated on how it's going.

Moderator
#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (35986 posts) -

Wait, you're 17 hours in and at the Magitek Research Facility? I was already in the World of Ruin by that time. Still, go and finish FF6. It's the best Final Fantasy out there.

#4 Posted by eroticfishcake (7782 posts) -

You never did Persona 4 did you? Remember that blog you made a while back about that? Yeah...I'll bet you a fiver you didn't even get past the second boss. 
 
HA!

#5 Posted by MattyFTM (14341 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Wait, you're 17 hours in and at the Magitek Research Facility? I was already in the World of Ruin by that time. Still, go and finish FF6. It's the best Final Fantasy out there.

Part of my problem is that I spend too long exploring side things and whatnot so games last longer than they need to.

Moderator
#6 Posted by bybeach (4724 posts) -

I wish the OP luck and perseverance. I tend to not always complete games, but mostly I do iff'n the game rocks. For example, GTA4 fell by the wayside, but LA Noire got done. Which gets to FF. I realize you are playing an older iteration, and that may be good for me, but I am deeply prejudiced against all things FF from later games. Thus I am playing Cthulhu saves the World to satisfy the same lack as yours. Not that it is really anything the same except in a few key generalities. Or one, JRPG.

#7 Posted by Mento (2438 posts) -

I actually stalled about three or four times on FF6 before finally completing it. I remember I kept getting pissy about killing Shadow or getting hopelessly lost in WoR or overkilling my tolerance for the game with that damn Veldt side-quest. I'd say use a guide to keep you focused, but I'd get chewed out by a dozen users for helping you ruin what was their favorite JRPG experience. So instead I'll say just to stick with the story until things 'get a bit wonky' (you'll know when) and then do all your side-questing stuff. You'll miss a few things by rushing, sure, like Intangir and a bunch of other bestiary entries but it's no big deal.

Moderator
#8 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

My friends and I use to play this game together at his house. Anytime we played an RPG we named one character Bob Dole. We thought it was the funniest shit ever.

#9 Posted by Hailinel (23870 posts) -

@Mento: How the heck do you get lost in the World of Ruin?

Final Fantasy VI is one of my all-time favorites, no doubt. It took me about 82 hours to beat the game my first time, and that was with accomplishing most everything.

@Video_Game_King said:

Wait, you're 17 hours in and at the Magitek Research Facility? I was already in the World of Ruin by that time.

You're an anomaly.

Online
#10 Edited by StarFoxA (5138 posts) -

Great choice for a first "lengthy RPG," (although, I wouldn't really call FF6 a "lengthy" RPG, to be honest, it probably took me 35 hours or so, maybe more of a "middling length" RPG). If you haven't played Chrono Trigger or Chrono Cross yet... dear god, man, get on that.

Edit: Whooooa... you had problems playing Mass Effect? Oh jeez. Good luck with longer games. Mass Effect took me 11 hours on my first playthrough.

#11 Posted by Hailinel (23870 posts) -

@StarFoxA said:

Great choice for a first "lengthy RPG," (although, I wouldn't really call FF6 a "lengthy" RPG, to be honest, it probably took me 35 hours or so, maybe more of a "middling length" RPG). If you haven't played Chrono Trigger or Chrono Cross yet... dear god, man, get on that.

Edit: Whooooa... you had problems playing Mass Effect? Oh jeez. Good luck with longer games. Mass Effect took me 11 hours on my first playthrough.

Wait? Thirty-five hours? What the hell kind of crazy-ass speedrunning were you doing?

Online
#12 Posted by StarFoxA (5138 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@StarFoxA said:

Great choice for a first "lengthy RPG," (although, I wouldn't really call FF6 a "lengthy" RPG, to be honest, it probably took me 35 hours or so, maybe more of a "middling length" RPG). If you haven't played Chrono Trigger or Chrono Cross yet... dear god, man, get on that.

Edit: Whooooa... you had problems playing Mass Effect? Oh jeez. Good luck with longer games. Mass Effect took me 11 hours on my first playthrough.

Wait? Thirty-five hours? What the hell kind of crazy-ass speedrunning were you doing?

Just leisurely playing through the game. I can't remember, it was a while ago, although I can say with almost one hundred percent certainty that I skipped almost every sidequest.

#13 Edited by SuperfluousMoniker (2907 posts) -

You really shouldn't have to grind much in FF6, it's not difficult at all if you focus on the good/important party members. I completely ignored Gau, for instance, since there's only a couple part in the game where you're required to use him. Also, once you get to the halfway point in the game (I won't spoil it if you don't know what happens, but it's big. You'll know) you can go to Narshe and get Mog, there's a hidden relic right where he's standing that sets the random encounter rate to 0. Makes beating the game a lot easier/faster!

#14 Posted by MythDarK (535 posts) -
@MattyFTM said:

@Video_Game_King said:

Wait, you're 17 hours in and at the Magitek Research Facility? I was already in the World of Ruin by that time. Still, go and finish FF6. It's the best Final Fantasy out there.

Part of my problem is that I spend too long exploring side things and whatnot so games last longer than they need to.

That's not really a problem, imo. I for one really love exploring the worlds I enter, search every pixel, talking to the locals etc. Take your time with Final Fantasy VI. It's a beautiful game in many ways, and it deserves a lot more time than the average RPG does.
#15 Posted by Mento (2438 posts) -

@Hailinel: Well, it's the "I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing now" kind of lost. Like when you emerge in Oblivion and have a thousand places to go.

Moderator
#16 Posted by rmanthorp (3873 posts) -

You should finish Mass Effect. :<

Moderator Online
#17 Posted by PixelPrinny (1030 posts) -

I'll refrain from giving you tips or telling you what you should do as much as the JRPG fanatic in me wants to and just wish you well on your endeavor and good luck on making it through FFVI :D

#18 Posted by Video_Game_King (35986 posts) -
@Hailinel said:

Wait? Thirty-five hours? What the hell kind of crazy-ass speedrunning were you doing?
Now that I think about it, you're the anomaly :P.
#19 Posted by Steve_C (1750 posts) -

I had an urge like that to go through some older games I missed out on/hadn't completed earlier this year.
 
Finally blasted through Secret of Mana, and then played FFVI for the first time. I was playing it... in a format where I could speed up the game time, which made grinding relatively easy. Checking my game time, i finished in under 60 hours, but really it might just have been 30/40 hours of real time. It's handy though; you can cut out the crap and get to the good stuff quicker.
 
I had got right near the end of FFV on PS1, but never got around to finishing it, so i'm thinking of playing it through in a similar way and finally seeing the ending.

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