Right guys, we got no time on hols to play this and we've still be trying to get back to real life so its only just now that we managed to get some gaming in last night.
We were slightly behind as she hadn't saved after getting the sub/ancients key the last time but after a short spell she had caught up to her previous position in the game. I don't know if she knows about Emerald Weapon or not but she's avoiding him like the plague under water, I'm wondering if she ran into him previously when I wasn't looking. Either way she's feeling more confident about where to go and what to do once she found the key of the ancients. Bringing the key to Bugenhagen in the city of the ancients she see's the message that Aeris has managed to cast Holy and how Sephiroth is blocking the effect.
Leaving the city of the ancients, she hasn't yet gotten her next "instructions" for want of a better term and its clear to see that there are some parts of these games that wouldn't appeal to her. She likes having completed one mission and having it end with "and now go do this". Once she got to where she had left the Highwind, we see Diamond Weapon surface. And all her nagging of what to do next gets changed to "Crap, I have to fight another WEAPON?!".
Unsure of exactly how to proceed but knowing Diamond Weapon is heading for Midgar, she heads straight there and for the first time, see's the guy outside who talks about losing his keycard. This is not received well as her initial thought is she has to go back to bone village to find this keycard to proceed and she never fully understood/mastered the whole digging for treasure thing. Feeling a tad bad and knowing its been a while since she's played, I let her know this isn't necessary. She instead readies her team and saves (she's learning!) and runs into him as he hits land.
The battle against Diamond weapon was pretty bad. Completely forgetting her previous "Build defence THEN offence" tactics, she launches a string of Summon and Magic3 spells to try and take him out as quickly as possible. Her team all have between 2500HP and 3000HP and while Diamond Weapon's standard attacks only take between 750 and 1200 damage a piece, her lack of healing and defence building meant that after Diamond does his countdown, she was reduced to all three of her characters under 300HP and instead of healing straight away, tried to throw in another attack. This did not end well and her first game over since she came back was given to her.
The second time she started the fight was far more like her old style, with Regen and Barrier ("That barrier materia is really good isn't it?!") cast she was in a far better position to take out Diamond Weapon and managed it in very little time. Was a little surprised that she had managed to level up Barrier without using it and fully understanding its use but she has embraced it now, Haste is really the only other standard that I would have used in my battles that she doesn't use yet. Having beaten Diamond Weapon she also came across for the first time, the concept of materia being "born". Explaining this to her and how she got extra materia, she was happy enough but I don't know if the implications have really sank in just yet. I'd like to look through her materia to see if she has mastered anything else (in particular an All materia) but she literally finished the battle with Diamond weapon, leapt into the highwind and managed to drive straight into Ultimate Weapon. WITHOUT SAVING!?!?
All I heard (while making grub across the room) was "I just flew into this thing and its fighting me".....so its obvious that she wasn't expecting this and when Ultimate Weapon makes his appearance on the battle screen, this is when she realises that she hasn't saved. Pointing out that she could beat this guy (her guys aren't at 100% but they are all alive with decent levels of MP) she throws the same Summon and Magic combo she threw at Diamond with a couple of Limits for good measure. She is still using Finishing Touch instead of Meteorain which I can't understand but she did get a bit of a laugh from Cid lighting his Dynamite Limit with his cigarette and felt the need to point it out to me again
After Ultimate Weapon made some fairly strong attacks, wiping out everyone bar Cloud, she conceded defeat until Ultimate Weapon just floated off. Still unsure but at the EXP and AP screens, she lands the highwind and saves her game. Took a fright but she got there! From the FMV after beating Diamond Weapon she knows she has to head North and while on the way, we see the conversation take place noting the importance of stopping Hojo first. She's starting to get divided on the whole Cait Sith/Reeve character now. One the one hand she still hates him as a team mate but on the other she likes Reeve and is impressed by his actions to backstab Shinra. Yuffie on the other hand is still a waste of space. Trying to get back into Midgar she does the same thing as she did with Diamond Weapon, trying to walk in and only by pure chance or possibly poor driving does she go over the city to trigger the parachute scene.
After getting into Midgar, she is now in the sewers. She's making slow but steady progress through these and just gotten into the tunnel where you eventually fight Reno and the gang when she decided to call it a night. We're getting close now and her interest in the game is getting fired up again. Hopefully we will have another update soon (busy tonight and tomorrow night so will probably be Friday/Saturday)
We will finish this!!!
Also, just for giggles, I sent this to a mate when she started, she finally got it last night:
Ok so, After the last time she took a break, she was literally two screens away from fighting Reno and his gang in the optional battle under Midgar. Having met them and unsure whether or not she should finish it once and for all, she decides to play it safe and annihilate any remaining enemies.
At the start of the battle it became clear that she was at a high enough level to sail happily through this fight, the Turks attacks weren't overly powerful and her recent obsession with Barrier materia ensured that the damage wasn't going to impact greatly on her battle. Having sacrificed using her best weapons for the ones with the most materia slots, her Magic menu has pretty much the same for most of her characters, Bolt, Fire and Cure, all linked to All materia and her main focus of attack is hitting with elemental3 magic towards all opponents. With a constant barrage of these attacks taking about 3K each time, with the occasional summon/Ultima, it doesn't take her long to dispatch the trio and she moves on.
This however took her slightly longer than expected. As mentioned before, there are certain things that seasoned gamers seem to take in their stride that other gamers may not. In this case, when speaking to the characters spread out among the tunnels, she doesn't fully grasp the implication of them saying "Not this way" and running in certain direction. As a result, she spent a good half an hour running through the tunnels with a certain amount of frustration as she couldn't find the correct path to take. Finally, after searching almost all the possible paths (and finding W-Item, cha-ching!), she got onto the streets of Midgar, straight into the hands of Proud Clod.
This was a very difficult fight for her and mainly due to her still getting her feet with all the status spells. Proud Clod is able to inflict Reflect status on a character and doing this while herself was in the middle of buffing her characters, resulted in Proud Clod getting Regen and MBarrier cast on it, making the fight all the more difficult. She is also starting to burn through alot of her more prestigious inventory, using approx 6 turbo ethers throughout the duration of the battle. However, the biggest issue she had with this battle was simply panicking. She has come along way in the game at this stage and fights have gone from simply -> attack, attack, attack, heal, attack, attack etc, to having to deal with unexpected status effects changing the game. When Reflect was cast on her, she had to take her time to go through her magic menu's trying to find the appropriate spell to remove reflect (Good first try using Ensuna, very close with DeSpell and finally there with DeBarrier), all the while, Proud Clod is still firing away. And on every successive hit, she's getting more worked up about the fact she hasn't solved the status effect and this is causing her to make mistakes such as casting the DeSpell on Proud Clod before she cast it on herself.
However, the power of her characters is formidable and even though she refuses to believe that Meteorain hits for more than Finishing Touch (probably my own pet peeve in her gameplay style), after a limit from Cloud, Proud Clod falls and she lets out a breath of relief and has to go for a relaxing brew before she contemplates picking up the game again. Being the nice guy I am, I casually remind her about saving before and after boss fights and she does before she goes near Hojo. In the lead up to the battle between herself and the mad doctor, she is surprised to learn about Sephiroth being Hojo's son, a twist worthy of any soap opera! With that startling revelation out of the way she beings the battle with Hojo and probably onto one of the hardest of the game.
The first form of Hojo, which usually is quite quick to dispatch was a surprising uphill struggle. After he summons his two monster allies, she concentrated on taking out one. After successfully knocking the enemy out after 2 or 3 rounds, Hojo simply revives him. Logic here dictates that if Hojo will do this after the enemy is killed, Hojo should be the main target, a train of thought she grasped perfectly in the Shinra building all the way back in Disk 1 after getting Red XIII. However she spent another few rounds concentrating on the same enemy and it was only due to the effects of her magic3 linked to All materia, occasionally hitting Hojo as well as her preferred target that she got through the first phase of the battle.
The second phase went far smoother with a constant barrage of magic attacks, the arm disappeared quite quickly. Reappearing only once, a constant (and expensive) barrage of Ultima, Comet2 and Summons knocked this level of Hojo out before he really had a chance to do any significant damage. At this stage she's getting worried as Hojo has transformed for the third round and she is unsure just how many there will be. This is reinforced by the realisation that she is flying through her resources and her spells of choice are all using over 100MP per turn.
In an ironic twist of faith, as Hojo reappears the third time, he casts Silence and sleep on two of the characters and her the importance of having a dedicated healer kicks in. Trying to keep the characters in the battle, the one remaining player (Cloud) is constantly buffing the trio, using Barrier and MBarrier as well as Regen, trying to minimise the damage of Hojo's Combo attacks. While she has approx 3500HP per character, two of Hojo's Combos in a row, with barriers on, is reducing the HP of her characters significantly and the status effect of Sleep/Silence at the end is equally frustrating to Ms. RedXIV. What is getting damage off Hojo, If any, is the fact that Barret has Counter Materia equipped and after every second hit within Hojo's Combo, he is retaliating with average hits of 1500 damage. His Ungarmax limit break has been unlocked after the Proud Clod battle and it is this that ends up saving the day for us. Using a remedy on Barret, to try and get any attackers back in the game, the limit that we tried to use almost 2 minutes previously finally kicks in and taking a stunning amount of damage off Hojo, finally finishes the battle.
She's tired but very proud of herself and is sitting back and enjoying the "Find a reason to fight" conversation. She probably won't admit it but she is getting far more involved with the story than she lets on and when we reach the stage where the characters are to return to the bridge of the Highwind, Yuffie is the last to arrive and I can't help but feel a little sense of relief as the conversation leading up to Yuffie's return indicated she will not actually do so. After the conversation, the Change Disk screen appears, and she is visible chuffed. She knows Disk 3 is alot shorter than the others and I told her I'd tell her a bit more about the quests etc in the game on the 3rd disk so we spend about 20 mins discussing things like Ultimate Weapons, Level 4 limit breaks, rare materia and Chocobo Breeding.
From that talk, I can safely say, she will not be chocobo breeding. I told her it took me about 7 or 8 hours to get a Gold Chocobo and she is simply not willing to invest the time. Which is fair enough. I've also suggested she create a separate save file for when she enters the crater in case she wants to explore the world afterwards as I know once she enters the crater, she won't be turning back.
Third disk! I didn't know if we'd get here. And while I would have used this disk to explore and fart about, she's got a hunger in her eyes for beating the game. She even had her brother over last night, while she was playing and had him start a new game on the PS3, while she was on the couch beside him on the PSP. She has also stated for the first time that FF9 is the next one she is going to try which is very inspiring.
Not too much longer guys, I probably won't do big updates for the farting around on Disk 3, the last of the big updates will hopefully be a full on Start of Northern Crater -> End Credits.
I don't know exactly when this will happen but hopefully it will be soon!
The final boss can be nasty without doing some sidequests and for a newbie that forgets to cast debarrier on him. I know that after the fight before the submarine it was the only fight that gave me trouble in the game. I couldn't beat it until I went back and did some sidequests first.
Also make sure she doesn't go into the crater before she has completed the Lucrecia (sp?) sidequest and returned to nibelheim to find out about Zack.
I just remembered, you are supposed to visit Lucrecia on Disk 2 first!!
Go there on Disc 3 and get the scene, leave for about half an hour, maybe fight a few battles, head back in and you get the final scene.
Really? Sweet Didn't want her to miss out on this epic bit of story, she was really shocked by the Hojo thing so the Vincent/Lucrecia/Sephiroth connection should be good too
Yep you can do all the sidequests on Disc 3. A lot of them are just timed like the hints the chocobo guy gives about breeding a black chocobo.
Can't wait for the big showdown.
she'll do OK.
There are gargoyles in the crater that get an uninterruptible Petrify on one party member and an uninterruptible L4 death on the entire party.
If you take requests RedXIV, will you remember to include precisely how she deals with this encounter. I think they're one of a few enemies in FFVII that you're just better off running away from.
Oh and the little guys with the lamps....Tonberry wasn't it? They should give her abit of trouble.
She didnt like the idea of blue/green/black and GOLD chocobo???!!! And the uber cool Knights of round summon? May be pay a visit to the chocobo sage, i remember his house is pretty cool. and please at least visit the underwater submarine for a tiny bit extra story, i don't think you need to finish the quest iirc.
And don't forget to show her the Cactuar island! Should be a laugh for anyone who see them the first time
Chocobo rearing is a complete pain in the nads. She is better off staying away from it.
Just get a guide and do it as quick as possible is really not cheating because the thing really takes hours to get it done!