This is little lights! The make or break episode to see if I will put a lot of time in this game or not! Last week I absolutely adored what was going on, after a rough start! I am playing Final Fantasy VI .. remade with characters from all over Geek Media. From Fighting Raditz to having Cloud Crossdress to get Shang Tsung some Booze! It’s all possible in this game! Yet when the writers have to create their own dialogue.. that is not referential it all feels flat a bit! Now on an adventure with nothing but original characters I wonder.. Will the game be as good as it is when Cloud is there? Or will it fall flat on its face?! Find out today with me!
Familiar but Edgier
As Ronan washes around the shore I find nothing on the map but a little Orphanage, I make my way there after defeating a few slimes with Parasols! A kid makes a comment about stranger danger, which is pretty accurate since Ronan is a half naked man talking to strange kids! However a nun tells me a story about Arc.. a boy who became an Onion Knight after he saw a thief kill his mother.. or he thought he did , in fact that man just robbed her and was a good guy! He feels sorry for the kid while his partner killed him in cold blood! I assume this blue haired bandit will play the role of our Locke.. The kid being an Onion Knight suspect will have the role of Gau. I am not sure yet but the story is a bit mediocre just as I expected. It’s good enough but it can’t hold a candle to the original … all the names of locations and characters feel so.. “My first Fantasy story” .. but okay let’s see where this goes I am kind of intrigued! Time to get into the Imperial base!
The first bit of the base plays remarkably similar to the original. Kefka is here and he is laying siege to a castle, as things seem grim a new hero shows up. Normally it’s Cyan but this time it is the Magic Knight “Avalon” I assume he will play like Celes with runic but so far I can’t play him yet. He is incredibly edgy though keeping talking about reaping and how his blade thirsts for blood. Seriously he sounds like a 13 year old’s first roleplay character. He has a pretty great battle theme though! Not long after his introduction we are introduced to his mechanic. He can deal his total health in damage to an enemy and maybe inflict damage to an enemy. It’s neat enough, his design reminds me of Lancer from Fate.. and I do think most lancers look the same at least the one from Fate Zero and Fate Stay.. I am not sure if they are different people or the same.. but you know that look! He kills his boss .. although barely and it’s time to go back to Ronan again.
General Leo has been replaced with… General Leo so once again this story is super duper similar to the original. However that Thief is in the background! He seems to replace Shadow! His name is Oboro.. kind of a gothish name.. .. so whoever wrote this part of the story must be some massive kind of edgelord.. I’ll ask Indigo if he wrote it! I am half surprised the battle music isn’t “My Chemical Romance” Unlike I what I had expected he doesn’t play like Locke though he actually does play like Shadow as well, except he has a lot more stuff to throw and it is all a bit more Naruto like! He has a bunch of Ninja Scrolls that give all sorts of neat effects and a healthy amount of Shuriken from the get go! So that is nice! The Kefka fight isn’t that hard and a Ninja Scroll deals with the troops I face while he gets away.. but Kefka manages to poison the river! It sucks to be at Mist castle right now!
Valkyries and Pokémon
We move back to Avalon, hoping to find something of a fun reference, somewhere but so far this scene has been pretty bone dry. I always wondered how Kefka’s poison worked.. he put so little in and did not get poisoned himself yet the castle is completely wiped out! Avalaon spouts more edgy crap about praying to the dragon god and being the dragon’s right claw that will get revenge and all that.. and this really just feels needlessly edgy and there is no fun to be had here… I know this scene probably lends itself to humor less as we see a man’s wife and kid die.. but common.. give me a snippet! Mamma wants a joke or a cool screenshot to share on Twitter.. but no Mamma is starving .. like a moth with no mouth! (Those are a thing by the way). I finally get one on the battlefield as Ronan and Avalon meet up! It’s a Valkyrie!?!
Okay I did not expect that.. it came out of nowhere and she looks strange but hey I will take it! The music here is awesome and some more Mega-Drive’ish tunes! It really conveys “edgelord going ham!” The Valkyrie fighting the people of the dragon culture though?! I think that is a bit off a miss! Let’s kill her for being a not so amazing thing in this game! It’s a fight that is a bit harder than I had anticipated but eventually the Valkyrie goes down. We steal a bunch of Magitek armor and after a bit of Magitek fighting we clear the camp and we find out the only way to go to Fraust is by going through some sort of haunted forest. Time to suplex a train! I love suplexing trains! As a Kaijuman that is something we do in our spare time.. but Gidora’s son keeps beating me! Gamera’s as well. .really getting some lift out of that shell of his.On our way to the Dreaded Forrest I only encounter some spikey generic alienish creature that seems out of Metroid or something .. we can just use the fight command to win… but everything changes as soon as we hit the forest.. the first fight is super hard.. but then I see a Gengar! Ooooh this can be good!
The forest itself offers a fair bit of a challenge but I discover that Ronan’s Kamehameha Wave is really good for dealing with the Undead so we make good progress. I encounter two creatures staring at a lake . one says he wants to see the Ocean, the other says he wants to see a pig watching the ocean. That’s .. random! We encounter a few elite soldiers , who then turn into zombies who then turn into dust and we spot a little Onion Knight in the forest boarding the Skull Train.. a guy named Reaper says he will only let us pass if we give him our souls when we die.. I refuse and have to do the area all over again.. not because I die I just got teleported out. Frick! Eventually we agree and this is the moment the random soldier in my party decides to sacrifice his own life…Wait.. you mean to say the guy with no abilities ISN”T a mainstay party member.. I am so shocked by his death! That’s right Moths speak Sarcasmn!
The Skull Train
Reaper takes the spot of the generic Knight and now we have to board the soul train! Reaper has to promise to leave Avalon’s family alone..and it turns out he is like a Dragon Born .. seriously.. Indigo did you make this character?! The Ghost train normally has you rolling around with several ghosties which can make minced meat of the fights to come in trade for their existence.. that doesn’t happen here. Reaper tags along all the way and he has some interesting abilities but he lacks the quick kills! Which results in a much slower train experience! Being the expert that I am however I progress more and more! Fighting some ghosts that look like a pair of sheets and some demony gluttony demons that look quite horrible! I actually do like these designs and while not referential this is a segment is quite enjoyable so far! The music is just okay here though! Funny though is that the characters are aware of the ominous music and seem to use it to indicate they are in danger. See even when you don’t use famous stuff you can be weird and funny!
I make my way up to a save point which comes rather later, and I fully expect to almost be up to the final boss battle! Little did I suspect that I had to face a mini boss before! It’s Arc the Onion Knight, who attacks me! Avalaon however has a peculiar ability in which he deals his total HP in damage to an enemy and might cast a random debuff.. the debuff he casts this time is DOOM. This puts the Onion Knight on a clock and the fight is pretty easy after that. Arc does take down Ronan though .. after the fight so the little guy gets away. While the fight was easy I am left on relatively low HP and while I go to use a shelter on the save spot I just past.. my safe spot turns into the wreck of the Ralph icon! That’s a thing! Why does my mind work the way it does and try to figure out how that would be a shelter in Real life?!
The rest of the train lasts pretty long, I eat some ghostly food, I get healed, I face the Onion Knight again, I take damage, I move trough passengers carts, I discover a Mini Boss that guards an Angelic Pendant that is a REALLY good Item for Avalon as it gives him Regen.. I fight the Onion Knight again.. I encounter Finn and Jake from Super Adventure Time.. that’s right they are in a random cart having what they claim to be a near death Experience. There is so much content in this train and it’s pretty awesome.. there is just one thing lacking! Another Save Point! We get ANOTHER fight with the Onion Knight and this one is even easier.. because it’s not a fight.. our Party Member beats him up for us. However then the ghost of his mother appears and tells the boy the truth this man feels regret for the role in her demise yada yada yada, please take care of my boy Blabla. She then trades her soul with the reaper for her boys safety and he brings her to the afterlife… now that’s cute and all and I guess the guy gets points or something.. but you are literally ON A TRAIN TO THE AFTERLIFE! Why would she need to be TAKEN there when she is going there anyway… well who knows!
The Young Boy takes Reapers spot in the party and we prepare for the final boss… but I am spent… and I get rewarded with a Save Point! We save the game and will continue next time. While flawed this arc had some interesting events that are actually very different from the original game. The problem here is that it does feel to edgy! When it’s not a fun refference it’s all doom and gloom and the tones clash so hard for me! Even though in fairness I did not even really mind this arc on it’s own! I like he inclusion of an Onion Knight and Avalanon’s mechanics are interesting and their backstories at least have weight to to them… but is that good enough in a game like this?! I wonder! It is a great game.. but some of the writing is just to edgy or nonsensical for me to fall in love wih this version. I DO wanna find out what happened to Raditz though. Maybe i’ll just play a little bit longer after the first arc.. maybe not.. we will cross that bridge when we get there. Time to crawl into Ralph again.. and see you all next time.
The Entire Return of the Dark Sorcerer Series