Final Fantasy V - Solo Hardcore

Oh, you know by now that "parting thoughts" means another chapter to come. :) No I'm not doing the FF5 Advance bonus dungeon, but there's still stuff to clean up in the main game.

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First up, Odin, who took all of two rounds of weapon attacks. Then Bahamut, who actually landed a Maelstrom when I'd neglected to mix a Dragon Kiss, but then Drain Kiss got back in the game. I went up Phoenix Tower just for completeness too.

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Back into the Void, to take out the Alte Roite/Jura Avis optional minibosses in the castle dungeon. They required a Dragon Kiss each to protect against both Encircle and Maelstrom, but were easy with that in place.

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And Necrofobia. Despite my earlier trepidation, he was indeed a pushover. Necrofobia scares everyone else with Hurricane and Condemn, but Dragon Kiss says thee nay. Goliath Drink up to 9999 HP brought Daniel well out of kill range from the Barriers' spells. (I had the Thief Glove equipped ready to use the Thief Knife to steal the Genji Armor, but Gilgamesh didn't show up. Must be because I skipped fighting him in Exdeath's Castle. Oh well.) With Hurricane and Condemn blocked, Necro packed nothing that could kill Daniel.

Anyway, enough preliminaries. Here's what we want to see!

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Newton the Chemist also defeated Shinryuu of course, but he had the luxury of retrying. I gotta nail down a flawlessly perfect strategy.

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First off, we have the opening Tidal Wave. My other conquests of Shinryuu involved retrying until the Aegis Shield blocked the attack, but Daniel refused to suffer the indignity of death. So I had to go with the Coral Ring here. (Going without that could be possible, by wielding the Masamune to get the first turn, to apply a mix for Shell or double HP or both with Quick. But I went for the old reliable standby, to make sure Daniel could spend his first turn enacting Dragon's Kiss leaving no window of vulnerability.)

Daniel laid on the following mixes, two per turn by way of the Quick spell: Goliath Tonic, Dragon Kiss, Dragon Armor (Armor+Shell), Dragon Shield (immune to fire/ice/lightning), Haste, two level-up Dragon Powers. This stopped all Shinryuu's attacks, except only the occasional physical strike. For offense, Daniel pulled out Apollo's Harp! From the back row, this dealt 9999 damage using its 8x Dragon enemy multiplier, and did it twice per turn by way of Quick. He even got a couple free attacks from the monkly Counter ability. The mighty dragon fell in a hurry!

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On the way walking back through the rift castle, Daniel had a heart-stopping moment. A group of enemies including an Iron Claw got a back attack, and I'd neglected to re-equip the Masamune, so the monster cast Death Claw before Daniel got a turn to Teleport! Fortunately the Haste Shoes prevented the paralyzation aspect of it, and the Teleport went off, but that still scared the holycrap out of me.

Anyway, Daniel was most certainly taking on Omega too. Haste, Dragon Kiss, Dragon Armor, Dragon Shield, Dragon Powers, Turtle Soups, all applied at double speed with Quick. I cast Reset once to start over, after realizing that Daniel should NOT use Goliath Tonic here! 9999 HP was actually a liability, since Surge Beam would deal half of that and 5000 damage at a time was a bit too much for Drain Kiss to reliably recuperate. Better was to leave Daniel at his regular 5900 HP which was more than enough.

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Dragon Kiss and the resistance mix rendered Daniel immune to any possibility of losing to Omega's attacks, plus the Flame Ring collected some extra healing every now and then. So after a few Turtle Soups, Daniel needed nothing but to Drain Kiss every turn, keeping him full and chopping through Omega's health. I came close to running out of Turtle Shells, but knew there were enough to go the distance...

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and there we are. Finito. Solo Hardcore is truly reality.

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Originally Posted by Sullla
Solo Ironcore is going to be really rough. It's not impossible, but prepare to be frustrated. All you need is one bad dice roll at dozens of points in time in the game to be back starting all over again. Uh... have fun!

Turns out that this isn't nearly as true as we thought. biggrin.gif - 1kb

Indeed, I believe that the only fights where any dice roll could have killed Daniel were Karlabos, Byblos (confuse), and ArchaeoAevis (confuse/paralyze). On occasion a random back attack leading to death was possible when I hadn't bothered to equip Vigilance (say Bone Dragons in Drakenvale.) But I believe that I guided Daniel through everything else perfectly and deterministically. With deep enough knowledge, and all the in-game options and abilities permitted, you can indeed guarantee virtually every victory even with a single character, even Shinryuu and Omega. We've had some discussions about randomness and retrying in the Realms Beyond thread; yes, many variants do turn into an exercise in manipulating luck, but the game does not have to be that way at all.

Of course, the answer to so many of those enemy moves was Dragon Kiss. Yes, Daniel's adventure turned in to a tour de force of Chemistry more than anything else. I'm realizing that the Chemist job simply wasn't meant to be used with an omniscient reference guide. You were supposed to be playing this on your SNES, alone in the world except maybe for a Prima strategy guide with such scintillating tips as "Undead are weak to fire!" Mixing would be trial and error, and you probably weren't even supposed to figure out what half the mixes do... especially Dragon Kiss. That's the single most important buff in the game by far, but how could you ever figure out what it does by the game alone? How in the world could you learn that it sets "Heavy" immunity without an algorithms guide to point out what "Heavy" even is? The Mix ability was balanced-by-obscurity, which falls apart in the light of the globally connected Internet.

I'm not sure what there is left to do in FF5 that tops this. smile.gif - 1kb See the Realms Beyond thread for any further discussion.

- T-hawk, 1/3/2012

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