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Gamecube - Final Fantasy Chronicles


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New FF, only for Gamecube - sounds like its built for multiplayer, could be really fun!

Only thing is, some are misunderstanding its use with the Game Boy Advance, so here's some info, courtesy again of Penny Arcade:


First of all yes it is true that in order to play with four players each person needs their own GBA. While it might sound odd at first, in practice it ends up being fucking brilliant. Imagine that you are playing with three other people. If you haven’t seen the game it’s not played in split screen. Picture a game like Hunter or Zombie Revenge. You’re all on the same screen fighting monsters and picking up loot. Now imagine that you need to access your inventory so that you can equip a new spell you picked up. Were it not for the GBA’s you would have to pause the game in order to bring up your inventory. Meanwhile no one else in your party can do shit because your cycling through menu screens looking for that new Ice spell you just grabbed. That’s bullshit and it would never work.


Instead what happens is that you hit the select button on your GBA and immediately you have access to your entire inventory and character customization menus via the GBA screen. You can sit there and alphabetize your items if you want and you aren’t bothering anyone else. The game is continuing on without you and your character automatically moves to keep up with the rest of the party. The other thing it allows is for multiple people to be using their inventories at the same time. I can be dropping Money for one person while he is dropping a spell for me. Fucking brilliant! This sort of thing would never be possible without the GBA.


Square also uses the GBA connectivity in other cool ways. One person in your party will have access to the map of the level you are in. It’s random so you never know who will be the navigator from level to level. You’re also given goals via your GBA screen before levels begin. Certain things like “Only use magic to kill monsters” or “don’t pick up any items”. Everyone is graded at the end of the level according to how well they accomplished these goals and the people with the highest scores get first dibs on specific kinds of loot picked up by the party during the level.


As wonderful and fantastic and totally fucking bad ass Crystal Chronicles is I will say that I think someone will die because of this game. That’s right, I believe it is only a matter of time before someone kills their friend because of his or her actions in this game. Let me give you some examples of the sort of behavior I have seen spark fights among our own group.


One of the most common ways for a fight to break out is over what we refer to as “Dropping the bucket short.” In case you don’t know the world of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is poisoned and your party carries with it a magical container (the bucket). This container creates a magic bubble around our party that all characters must remain inside if they don’t want to die. In order to progress through the level someone obviously has to carry this bucket around. While holding the bucket a player can’t really do much of anything else. They have to keep an eye on all the other players and make sure that the bubble they are casting is safely covering the entire party. Players that dash off without warning the bucket man often find themselves on the wrong side of the bubble and in a world of hurt. As you can see bucket management is a very important job. It’s easy for the bucket man to get blamed for all kinds of tragedies that might befall the group. “Well if you had just moved the bucket over here I could have killed that guy!” This is where “Dropping the bucket short” comes in. Monster X appears on the edge of the screen and the party rushes to engage him. The bucket man drops the bucket in order to join the fray but misjudges the size of his bubble and fails to envelope the monster in it. Now the monster sits just outside the bubble firing projectile attacks into it and picking off your party one by one. Meanwhile the members of your group must now brave the poisoned landscape beyond the bubble in order to battle this beast. This is often a lost cause as not only is the monster beating up on them but the very air around them causes massive amounts of damage. It’s not unheard of for an entire party to die this way, simply because of a bucket that was dropped short.


In our group the bucket man is Robert and there have been times when I thought that Porkfry was actually going to kill him. You see Pork carries a knife that he refers to as Mr. Stabby and it’s already tasted human blood. Recently Pork produced said knife after a particularly disastrous bucket drop left our entire party in spirit form. He waved it menacingly at Robert and as the rest off us held him back he screamed that he was going to “CUT THAT BITCHES FACE!” It took quite a bit of talking and consoling before I was sure that no ones face was going to be cut. This time everyone survived but who knows if we will be as lucky next time.


....You do not have to own four GBA’s! Each person that wants to play needs to own ONE GBA! If your friends do not own a GBA already, then I think you need to get yourself some new fucking friends.



...anyway, sounds pretty fun huh? I wanna see more on it, since im passin on FF X2.




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For those interested, here's some info from Gameforms...



Scheduled release date: US - Feb 9th, 2004


Final Fantasy: For Friends

Games | Nayan Ramachandran [staff Writer]


Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is best known as the first Final Fantasy to hit a Nintendo home console since Final Fantasy VI. But the game is hardly like its earlier cousins, instead coming to life largely as a multiplayer adventure. It shares less with previous FF titles and more with the likes of Gauntlet, Phantasy Star Online, and even a little Zelda. It’s most of all a mix of several different genres and a very creative use of hardware.


When you start a new game, you’re presented with eight empty slots to fill with a newly created character. The process involves choosing the name of their hometown, their character’s name, race and appearance, as well as their family’s job. Jobs range from Alchemist to Blacksmith, and they figure into the game a bit later.


The first noticeable difference from other FF titles is the selection of races. Available are the Clavats, the Yukes, the Selkies, and the Lilties. The Clavats and Selkies are both humanoid, while the Yukes and Lilties are a little more outlandish. Clavats serve as the staple human character, and offer average stats in strength, defense, and magic. Selkies are also human, but offer a slightly more barbarian approach, with slightly higher strength and lower magic ability.


Lilties are pint sized and look like turnips with legs, but they actually carry huge axes and serve as the brute force characters. Last but not least is the Yuke. Enigmatically hidden behind a battle helmet, donning small bat wings and towering above the other classes, the Yuke serves as the magic specialist, offsetting low strength with high magic power and casting speed. In a multiplayer battle, Selkies and Lilties will charge into the fray while Clavats and Yukes supply magic support and the occasional attack.


The game revolves around a “death vapor” scenario, with the world covered in a deadly mist that is hazardous to our plucky adventurers’ health. To combat this menace, villages utilize giant mana crystals that protect the population from the deadly gas.


Unfortunately, these crystals only maintain their power for a year. Tradition dictates that a group of young adventurers must venture forth into the world and obtain three drops of mana water, replenishing the energy of their town crystal for one more year.


To protect themselves while not in the town, each party is armed with a bucket with a small sliver of a mana crystal attached to it. The crystal can change its alignment, which shows through color - water is blue, wind is green, etc. This alignment comes into play when the party encounters a mana forest, magical locations that block the party from entering the next area and accessing new dungeons.


Each mana forest has an alignment, and the party’s alignment must match to pass through. The method of changing the bucket alignment is actually quite ingenious. Parties find “hotspots” within game dungeons where they can place their bucket and modify the element alignment of the crystal.


Actual battle within dungeons is well done, with many of the best gameplay elements designed to take full advantage of multiplayer. One excellent example is the ability to combine spells.


In single player, you can assign two adjacent “action slots” - slots that determine readily available actions for the main character - with certain spells and your inventory will automatically mix them into one spell. For instance, putting fire and blizzard together can combine to make gravity (which is essential against flying enemies), while two fire spells will combine to make a higher level fire spell.


In multiplayer, though, players cannot combine spells in their inventory, but instead must combine them with other characters. When casting a spell, players move a reticule around the playing field to aim their spell to a specific place. All it takes to combine spells is aiming the reticules over each other and releasing their spell at the same time. To make combining easier, a sound plays when the first player fires their spell, after which everyone else has less than a second to unleash their own. Players can also combine spells with physical attacks to create an elemental strike. Combining spells in multiplayer is guaranteed the same response from players: “That was awesome.”


An even bigger element to the gameplay is linking up with the Gameboy Advance. The GBA inclusion seems a bit gimmicky at first, but it becomes much more natural with time. Changing weapons, using items, and assigning actions to your character are all done from your GBA, clearing the screen for teammates busy with combat. That said, using a GBA should have been optional, as requiring it prevents the game from having a pick up and play feel.


Despite much of the game and the manual relying on a firm grasp of rudimentary Japanese, many have managed to wade through the import without much trouble. Certain game features are impossible to master without knowledge of the language, but getting by is possible. The only major problem is parsing through the game's heavy load of text to find the important bits.


The English localization is speeding along under the watchful eye of publisher Nintendo, who is tentatively planning to release the game with a bundled GBA/GC link cable. If you decide not to import, you’ll still have plenty to look forward to when the game hits North American retailers this March. More importantly, it’ll give you time to make sure all your friends pick up a GBA.





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