Final Fantasy V: FF1Style

Exdeath in world 2 is indeed a tough battle. It's the first time you have to beat a boss with multiple tens of thousands of hit points. Final Fantasy 1 parties are good at dealing up to 1000 or 2000 damage to a boss, but 32768 is a whole different ballgame. Is it possible to win this fight down a man, or will we just have to do the solostyle gameplay of retrying until Exdeath doesn't cast Doom? (Remember we can't raise dead warriors in battle.)

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Well, Doom went for Krile on the first try. If there's any warrior that can be used for a short time then discarded, it's her. She only has the juice for up to 9 shots of Firaga anyway.

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But that 30 seconds ran out quick without Haste on the party. She only got off 4 shots, not enough to drop Exdeath below 16000 and change to the less dangerous AI script. Then Exdeath wasted Phil with the cheese move of drop-to-critical Maelstrom when he already had a HP Leak going on. A few more physical attacks and we were done.

Second try, we're in the game when Exdeath fights instead of Dooms on the first round. 8 or so Fire 3's later...

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Good news: there's Thundaga, we're over the hump!

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BAD news: IT KILLED LENNA! And Krile is out of the high end black magics. All we have is Phil's sword (Icebrand) and Faris's meager healing ability. Faris then died to a one-two physical attack and that was that.

Try three, Faris got hit by Doom. Made it to the second half again, but then Lenna ate a one-two-three-four series of physical attacks before she got any turns to heal. No recovering from the white mage going down.

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Try four, no Doom, but are you kidding me? Exdeath's physical attack dealt exactly Faris's life total exact to the penny?

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Try five, so far so good. Got to the second phase, and we lasted a good long while... but couldn't win. Our only damage was 500 per round from Phil's sword, which means we need to survive thirty-two rounds of combat to take down the bad guy. I wasn't counting exactly, but we managed 20 rounds or so, but then Lenna ran out of magic for Cure 3 and the Healing Staff couldn't keep up with his damage.

I tweaked equipment a bit for a few more tries: Guardian Daggers for Faris and Krile to fend off some physical attacks and an Elven Mantle to keep Lenna alive. No luck, though.

Well... I guess the answer here is indeed the most Final Fantasy I answer of all. Go level up. It's not that we don't have the tools to win, we just can't keep it up for long enough. Just gotta push the black mage for a few more spell charges at a bit more damage. Just need a few more shots of curing for the white mage. Just gotta add some hit points so as not to lose to one-two physical punches.

I was re-reading Sullla's solo reports at work during the time I was playing at home, and chanced to see Batman's strategy of breaking Light Staffs to cast the Holy spell into Exdeath's elemental weakness. I didn't think of this situation in the variant rules. It's allowable; Holy is legal and the White/Red Mages can both equip the weapon to do it. But rod-breaking seems like such a newschool solution. And farming them would be probably as tedious as powerleveling anyway, plus the levels stick with us for the rest of the game.

Incidentally, our early observation that leveling in FF5 doesn't do much to make you stronger seems misguided. Lots of Sullla's solos did have to powerlevel at many points. And leveling actually does MORE than in FF1, despite the illusion that it doesn't because stats don't go up with level. Levels give more HP and spell charges and weapon damage and magic defense in both games. But in FF5 you also increase magic damage with level.

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The best place I found for leveling was in the cave leading to Shoat's forest on the northeast continent. It had only two types of enemies, paying out ~1000 exp per fight. These Ironbacks are weak to Ice magic and easy prey. The other enemy called a Druid had a dangerous attack or two (Encircle), so I was careful to save frequently. As a bonus the submarine with its resting room is right there for instant healing anytime.

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This only took about 45 minutes to add three levels to each character. The target was level 33, to get Krile to both M = 12 (up from 10) and exactly 275 MP, enough for 11 shots of Fire 3, up from 9. That's a total damage increase in the ratio of 90:132, almost fifty percent better.

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Exdeath led with Doom on Phil. Well, he might actually be expendable. Physical attacks trigger Dispel responses from Exdeath, eating up turns to reapply Armor and Shell. Might be okay in the latter half of the battle without him.

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Ouch - didn't realize we were now vulnerable to Level 3 Flare! But look - we had enough HP to survive it! Go Curaga!

And Krile has run out of magic, but that means Exdeath has taken more than 2000 x 11 = 22000 damage, and he's in the weaker part of his AI routine. My strategy now is to empty Faris's meager spellcasting ability into the boss, while hoping Lenna can keep up with the healing staff. (Faris got knocked into the back row by Reverse Polarity/Dynamo, and stayed there.)

Heh, no. We need the fighter alive.

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So far so good, no Doom. Start the usual plan of Armor and Shell on everybody while Krile empties Firaga into him. We survived a L3 Flare again and Curagaed it away.

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There's Thundaga and we're over the hump. Got lucky with Phil dishing out five straight sword hits with no Dispel in return, keeping all the buffs intact and saving the mages' turns for healing. Faris slipped in her meager Fire 2's on occasion, and then with one of them...

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we made it!

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