Greetings viewer. To give you a bit of background on this, despite being a modern day Final Fantasy fan, it just dawned at me that I have limited experience with any of the first five in the series.
Ha! Ye of little faith, myself. Of course I would.
Which is why the best solution to this is to fail on a public scale after stumbling into everything blind, with little to no outside help. In the same way that making a reality television show brings families together, surely writing about my progress in painstaking detail, with no outside help whatsoever, will help me to complete it!
Enough talk; let's start the game.
Final Fantasy V (Advanced) START
Morning on a nice-looking castle. A guy in blue walks out onto the roof and wakes up a dragon/gargoyle thing on the roof... which has an oddly high-pitched yawn.
A pink-haired princess runs out after him, calling "Father". Her name, apparently, is Lenna, and we can extrapolate that the guy in the blue is a king of some sort.
Which is confirmed in the next line. His name is ... King Tycoon. Wow. Interesting name for a ruler, but I'm not going to knock it. He's a hair's breadth and a motorcycle away from being King Radical.
Tycoon mentions that there's something wrong with the wind, and he needs to check if something's gone wrong. Lenna responds that It's Dangerous to Go Alone, but fails to supply him with a sword.
He tells her to have faith and takes off on dragonback solo, screwing any notion of royalty actually bringing guards with them when they do dangerous things. Genre Blind or Crazy Awesome? You make the call.
Meanwhile, on a Pirate Ship:
A bunch of pirates all wearing identical uniforms (complete with eyepatch) scurry around while a girl whose' sprite doesn't resemble her portrait even slightly climbs to a pretty precarious point on the ship. Her name is Faris (we can assume she'll be important later) and the wind's apparently still bad.
Next, we have Old Man In A Cave. Interesting subject for the opening cutscene. He doesn't have much to say.
Back to the castle.
The wind's stopped now... One would assume that's a rather naturally occurrence, but I'll run with the fact it's significant for now. Lenna seems to worry something happened to her father.
We cut to King Tycoon at the crystal chamber. He yells in surprise at the spinning crystal-thing, which proceeds to shatter into a billion pieces. Not sure what he was so worked up about, but we'll find out later I'm sure.
Next, campfire, guy and chocobo. A meteor falls from the sky, passing through the overworld briefly before it lands apparently rather near the two of them; there's an unspoken agreement, they mount up and roll out (though not before extinguishing the campfire; Safety first, I guess?).
This is where gameplay starts. I'm on a chocobo. Interesting start; interesting music as well. Gives off that 'new exciting adventure' vibe rather well, even if I'm not immediately won over by it.
Anycase, I check my boundaries. Nothing interesting around the mountains, so I head directly to the fallen meteor- this leads to an area called 'Tycoon Meteorite'.
...Hunh. I doubt that's a coincidence.
I go a little ways in, and the guy dismounts; Urk, I'm starting to see a trend so far of ugly character portraits. Anyway, our yet-unnamed protagonist tells the chocobo to wait by the exit, and we're left to wander around here.
I walk in on a couple of guys kidnapping a familiar pink-haired sprite, and so begins my first battle of the game. Combat seems easy enough -hit Attack to kill stuff- though I'm briefly taken by surprise by the ATB gage. Even though I knew Four and Five used that system, I guess my mind never really grasped that Classical Turn Based wasn't the only system the older games used.
Main Character goes to help Lenna, and has his name asked. We finally can name our hero.
I normally go for long names, but here we have six characters: I go for "'Falcon' to set up an inevitable pun, but as my first fail for the evening, I accepted it at 'F'. F it is then.
Any case, they identify the rock at a meteorite. Lenna wonders if there's a connection to the wind stopping- I can only assume as much, because it's got the same name as that guy with the awesome name.
Lenna thanks F and immediately ditches. F runs to catch up, but they both stop when he hear someone crying for help. A bit of investigative work reveals Old Man from the cave, somehow above ground now.
Any case, the man remembers his name is Galuf despite his head injury, but otherwise appears to have total amnesia. Lenna tries to ditch again, but when she mentions she's heading to the Wind Shrine, Galuf demands to go with her because that's where he was heading too. Apparently. Funny old world, isn't it?
F, however, bows out of the possible adventure... Well, not exactly the type of protagonist I thought we'd be stuck with but I guess I can't blame him for not wanting to tag along with a princess who was already kidnapped once and an amnesiac old man. The two leave.
I make my way back to my trusty Chocobo Boko, and for lack of a better option, head north. Boko stops abruptly and slams F against his Call To Adventure-ignoring ass and guilts him into running after the two sitting ducks, but an earthquake soon cuts off the only exit. Both Galuf and Lenna call out from ahead, so that's where we're going.
A few goblins ambush me, and Boko shows off some kickass jumping skill, getting me across several chasms before picking up the unconscious girl and old man in a scene that might have been lifted from an Indiana Jones movie.
We resume in a safer place, while Lenna wakes up and exclaims "F!", which is far funnier than I thought it would be. Lenna mentions that's the second time he's saved her, and he tells her not to sweat it; however the shockwaves from that meteor messed up the geography, so she's probably not going to make it where she's going by the usual routes.
Both the girl and man seem dead-set on getting to the Wind Shrine, however, so F promises to get them there. Apparently, his father's dying wish was that he gets out to see the world- and he feels the wind is calling him.
Galuf calls him on acting smooth to charm the pants off of Lenna and seems rather chipper for someone just back to consciousness. The three are determined to get to Wind Shrine despite the general chaos of the meteor strike, and mount up on Boko; I'm not certain how that works, given the relative sizes of chocobo.
Fortunately, there's a newly opened cave passage. They head in, leaving Boko behind, and immediately get into some random battles with Steel Bats. Somewhat badass that the old geezer managed to beat a bad made of metal to death with his bare hands.
We find a Spring of Instant Recovery and fight some crabs along with the usual diet of bats.
There's a pirate up ahead that opens a door with a secret button; I also get a leather cap to give to Lenna, who has the worst HP of the team. In the next area, we see a boat cross the Overworld Map, which isn't so strange considering there was a pirate... but IS pretty strange since there's no wind blowing, yet it seems to move fine. Hmm.
Next area... pirate flag and theme. It's pretty catchy too.
F makes the deduction that this is a pirate hideout after they see another pirate. Duh. Lenna wonders if they'd give the group a ride; F shoots down that idea rather quickly. Galuf agrees; asking a pirate for a ride would be stupid. Stowing away, however...
The pirate guards are all sleeping -typical- so we just walk up to their boat. Nobody's onboard except a sleeping guard, so it's time for a pirate joyride!
...Or it would, if F could get the darned thing to work. Faris and a bunch of pirates take the opportunity to show up, rather cross that they were trying to steal their boat.
Lenna reveals that she's a princess -shocking F and Galuf- and makes it a formal request to commandeer his- wait, his?
...Yeah, no, I'm not buying it. I know that the art of the older Final Fantasy games tended to skew towards the feminine, but this is a bit too much.
...any case, Faris rejects their demands and seems to decide just to kidnap the princess. F and Galuf get up in his/her face about that, but luckily the princess has a Pendant of Plot Importance. They all get thrown into the brig.
Galuf complains about the plan being stupid in the first place and F replies with copious amounts of snark. Galuf pulls an Amnesiac Gazelle routine and F turns his attention to princess Lenna; she wasn't intending on keeping it a secret, apparently.
Faris apparently has the same Pendant of Plot Importance that Lenna has, and decides to cast off for the Wind Shrine. S/he also unties all the party members, apparently just because.
Lenna's curious about how the ship can move, and Faris for kicks, calls up the giant dragon-thing that's pulling the ship. Interesting method of travel.
We are now on a boat and head off to the Wind Shrine. Inside, we're treated to a kickass beat and a group of people who seem to know Princess Lenna.
Apparently the Wind's stopped -No, really?- and there are monsters invading the shrine. You know, just once I'd like to see a temple that wasn't infested with monsters or demons or something. No word about the king, though- he went to the top floor and didn't return.
Faris is with us, by the way. Four member party makes me smile.
More goblins here, plus some snakes. I find another broadsword, which I give to Faris and in turn, Faris' dagger to Galuf. I'm doing some pretty good damage at this point.
Next: Boss fight! Verses a weird bird thing. It deals some pretty good damage across the board, then covers itself with its wings; you have to wait to hit it. I take it down rather easily, though I used up most of my potions in the process. I get a Phoenix Down for my trouble.
Up a floor, and we arrive at the Wind Crystal. Or rather, the shattered remains of the Wind Crystal.
A cutscene plays, in which sparks of power, containing a virtue and corrosponding element; Fire and Courage, Water and Dedication, Earth and Hope, Wind and Passion; fly into Faris, Leena, Galuf and F respectively, with the implication that each came from a different crystal.
The party wonders what happens when they hear King Tycoon, who appears atop the broken crystal platform. He declares them the Light Warriors, blessed by the Crystals, and they need to protect the crystals of Fire, Earth and Water before a being that wants to destroy the world is awakened. He then exits in a rather confusing manner- I assume it means he became one with the force.
The crystal fragments then summon themselves into the party members, bestowing them power in the form of classes. They leave, though Faris is surprisingly considerate of Lenna's feelings, considering her father just died(?) right in front of her.
We warp out, and I get a handy Job Ability System tutorial. I won't bore you with the details.
I now have my first six Job Choices: The obvious picks, Theif, Knight, Black Mage and White Mage are joined by the Monk and Blue Mage. So far, I've made F a Monk, Galuf a Knight, Lenna a White Mage and Faris a Blue Mage.
Say, I wonder what happens when you push the 'ESC' key on an Emulator? Well let's see- OSHI-