~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Final Fantasy Legend ***SINGLE-CHARACTER CHALLENGE*** by DamageInc aka Michael DiBernardo firstname.lastname@example.org VERSION 2.1 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ CONTENTS: 1. Motivation 2. The Scenario 3. What Makes the SCC Difficult? 4. What Makes the SCC Rewarding? 5. The Human SCC + 5.1 Why a Human is well-suited for the SCC + 5.2 Why a Human is (theoretically) better than a Mutant for the SCC + 5.3 General Things to Watch Out For in the Human SCC + 5.4 Human SCC Game Guide - 5.4.1 World I - 5.4.2 The Ascent to World II - 5.4.3 World II - 5.4.4 The Ascent to World III - 5.4.5 World III - 5.4.6 The Ascent to World IV - 5.4.7 World IV - 5.4.8 The Divine Whacking of Ashura - 5.4.9 The Sacreligious Finale 6. The Mutant SCC + 6.1 Why Most of What I Said Before About Mutants Doesn't Matter + 6.2 General Things to Watch Out For in the Mutant SCC + 6.3 Mutant SCC Game Guide - 6.3.1 World I - 6.3.2 The Ascent to World II - 6.3.3 World II - 6.3.4 The Ascent to World III - 6.3.5 World III - 6.3.6 The Ascent to World IV - 6.3.7 World IV - 6.3.8 Things Aren't Getting Any Easier - 6.3.9 Some Time to Reflect - 6.3.10 Deicide is an Iffy Business 7. The Monster SCC + 7.1 All I'm Going to Say About This + 7.2 Future Work 8. Comments and Credits 9. Version History 1. Motivation ===================================================================== The general motivation for this kind of challenge is simple: to get a new, stimulating experience from an otherwise old and stale game! Final Fantasy Legend has a lot of replay value simply because there are so many character combinations, and the whole atmosphere of the game is just... trippy. Once you've gone through the game a few times, though, it can really be hard to pick it up again. This daunting solo quest might be just the thing you need to breathe new life into this classic title. 2. The Scenario ===================================================================== The idea behind the single-character challenge (SCC) is simple: you are to complete the entire game using _only_ the "hero" character. You are NOT ALLOWED to recruit ANYONE from the Guild - EVER! Some assumptions are made about the player at this point. It is assumed that you are _very_ familiar with the (sometimes quirky) gameplay mechanics of the Final Fantasy Legend (FFL). It is also assumed, but _not_ required, that you have finished the game at least once -- more than once, if you can help it. I'm not going to even attempt to avoid spoilers, though, so expect to have some of the bigger surprises ruined for you if you use this guide before completing the game on your own. Ideally, you shouldn't be using the Saw to kill bosses. There is a bug in the game that causes the Saw to instantly kill any enemy with a higher defense than the character wielding it (provided the wielder has a high enough agility), and exploiting a bug really isn't the honorable thing to be doing. 3. What Makes the SCC Difficult? ===================================================================== The most obvious difficulty in the SCC is that you are the sole target of all enemy attacks. The success of your "party" hinges entirely on the competence of your single character. Giving and taking damage is going to be more difficult, and you won't have the variety of approaches to a problem that a full party would have. There are other, more subtle difficulties in the SCC. One is managing inventory space. Another related problem is the budgeting of your resources: running out of money or weaponry can mean having to start the entire game from scratch. Unless you're playing from a ROM, you're only going to have one save slot to work with; thus, you have to make sure that you save ONLY when you are completely sure that you haven't screwed anything up. Again, making a mistake here can mean having to start the game over. Basically, the SCC is more difficult than the regular game because making a mistake with a single-character party results in much more dire consequences than making the same mistake with a full party. So pay attention to what you're doing! Personally, though, I think the SCC is almost easier than the "normal" game (at least with a Human) because you only have to concentrate on the development of one character. If you're playing a diverse, four-character party, you have to worry about the progression of all four of those characters and you can't just rely on equipment found in chests to pull you through the game. In the SCC, though, after some initial training woes you can practically coast through the rest of the adventure. 4. What Makes the SCC Rewarding? ===================================================================== The best thing about the Final Fantasy Legend SCC is that it is difficult enough to require some ingenuity to accomplish, but it is still readily manageable. It does not involve constantly restarting the game in the hopes that the random number generator will squeak you out of an otherwise impossible battle, like many of the Final Fantasy Low-Level challenges do. (Unless, of course, you're foolish or masochistic enough to try the Monster SCC). The SCC lets you play the game from a different angle without grinding your teeth in frustration or tossing your GB out the window. The SCC really has nothing to do with bragging rights or any other such ridiculous things; its main purpose is to bring new enjoyment to a classic title. So buck up! It's time to get this show on the road. 5. The Human SCC ===================================================================== We open with a discussion of why the Human-type character has a greater potential for success in the SCC in comparison to a Mutant character. 5.1 Why a Human is well-suited for the SCC -------------------------------------------------------------------- * REASON 1: GROWTH AND DAMAGE POTENTIAL Simply put, Humans have the absolute highest growth potential in the game. While it is true that their susceptibility to (and ineptness with) magic limits their development in some sense, they have no equal when it comes to maximum stat growth. Due to some sloppy programming on the part of the FFL team, the STR and AGI of a human can be boosted far beyond the apparent maximum of 99: both can actually be raised as high as 254! I've never found a maximum for their HP, but I'm assuming it's somewhere around 2048. In comparision to the maximum of (approximately) 99 that a Mutant can achieve and the fixed maximums that Monsters are restricted to, Humans have a far greater capacity for growth than their fellow races. This, of course, translates into a much higher damage potential. It is not unusual to see a juiced-up Human hitting extremely high-level opponents for 300-400 damage with a first-tier weapon (such as a long sword or an axe). Since there's going to only be one of you dishing out the pain, you've got to make sure that you have plenty of it to go around. * REASON 2: GROWTH IS GUARANTEED When playing FFL with a full party, it's usually not a big deal if one member of the team is lagging behind the rest in terms of growth -- your more reliable members will pick up the slack. In the SCC, you only have ONE character to depend on, so you have to make SURE that said character will be able to advance at a steady, dependable rate. With a human character, you can advance as much as your wallet will allow. There is no praying to the Mutant Gods to grant you a new stat boost or ability, and no crossing your fingers as you bite into a chunk of a fallen foes' corpse -- buy some potions, suck them down, and you can be SURE that you're going to be more effective the next time you go into battle. (It turns out that this reason isn't ALL that relevant. See the section on the Mutant SCC to find out why.) * REASON 3: WEAPONS DON'T MATTER With the amount of money you're going to be spending upgrading your statistics and armor, you might be wondering where you're going to drum up the cash to buy the new shiny sword with the badly translated name that the shopkeeper is selling. Guess what? You DON'T NEED IT! As long as your stats are high enough, you can get through the entire game using only the most basic weapons. And by basic, I mean BASIC - Long swords, Rapiers, Axes, maybe some Battle swords if you're feeling rich-blooded. With the number of high-powered weapons that you find lying around the Tower, you'll always have a crazy uber-weapon to rip through bosses with. Most of the time, though, you'll be dispatching the hordes of the wicked with your cheaper equipment. This is what I call the "fly-swatter strategy" -- carrying four or five weak weapons (on your person or in your inventory) to kill normal enemies, and only using your more powerful weapons against the bosses. * REASON 4: CARRYING CAPACITY You'll find that inventory space becomes a SERIOUS problem very early into the SCC. Having all eight slots open on your hero is going to be VERY helpful. (This is another point that, in practice, doesn't really matter.) * SOME WEAKNESSES Of course, Humans aren't TOTALLY perfect. For one thing, Humans are EXTREMELY susceptible to magic and status-effects. Enemies that cause stone, blind, or instant-death are going to be a big problem. You're going to have to rely heavily on elemental armor and the like to deal with this. If you see anything with a snake-wig or an extremely large eyeball, it's time to flak out of there. Another problem is that you have to rely entirely on items to heal yourself, as you don't have any cure spells or abilities at your disposal. Packing a couple of potions on your person is a necessity. A third issue is multi-target attacks: you don't have any. Well, you don't have TOO many, and they all suck except for the Excalibur -- which you don't get until the end of the game. Finally, you only have the potential to cause physical damage -- status effects and attack magic just aren't your thing. Fortunately, status attacks aren't really that effective in this game (at least they aren't when YOU use them :/), and there are few enemies that your steroid-enhanced body can't make short work of. Almost anything that a Mutant or Monster can kill with magic can be killed faster with a Human's physical attack. Basically, the gist of this whole section is that Humans are great! Yay! Like we didn't already know. 5.2 Why a Human is (theoretically) better than a Mutant for the SCC --------------------------------------------------------------------- When starting the SCC, your first thought might be that a Mutant would be a great choice. After all, they have the potential to be good physical fighters, they have a much higher resistance to magic than humans, and they're not nearly as expensive to level. These are all very understandable things to be thinking; they are also all very WRONG. It is true that a Mutant with a STR and AGI of 99 is going to be a pretty good fighter -- using a Psi weapon with 99 MANA is also a great strategy. Unfortunately, said Mutant STILL won't be nearly as deadly as a Human with 254 STR and AGI. You need to be able to cause as much damage as possible in as short a period of time as possible. Now, it is true that magic can demolish entire groups of enemies at once, but the utility of this isn't as great as you might initally think. Magic spells are very effective at taking out groups of fairly weak monsters in a short period of time. Unfortunately, the most difficult battles in the SCC are boss fights, and these are one-on-one: in cases like this, a juiced Human with a Long sword is going to do more damage than a maxed-out Mutant with Flare. A Mutant's higher magic resistance is also a highly disputable reason to use one in the SCC. Enemies don't really start using strong magic and instant-death attacks until the 3rd world or so, and by then you have access to armor that makes you immune to almost all of these attacks (the Dragon armor). As long as you choose your wardrobe carefully, you should have relatively few problems with magic attacks using ANY race. Finally, Mutants aren't nearly as cheap to raise as they first appear. Sure, it costs thousands of GP to completely stack a Human character. However, at least you know that spending that GP is actually _getting_ you somewhere. Mutant advancement is so unreliable that you could conceivably spend tons of gold on weaponry before seeing any _real_ improvement in performance. (This, of course, only holds true with an "ideal" random number generator (RNG) on ideal hardware -- we will see later that this is easy to get around because of the crummy RNG programming that is usually done for the Gameboy series of consoles). The Mutant does have _some_ strengths in the SCC. Their ability to use physical and magical attacks certainly makes for a more varied gaming experience, and many of the Mutant abilities are extremely useful -- in the right situations. Their lack of inventory slots is going to be a problem, though -- you have to ensure that you can always pack enough extra weapons and spellbooks to keep from running out. In the end, the sheer randomness involved in playing as a Mutant makes it difficult for them to succeed at the SCC; the experience will probably be more frustrating than anything else. Don't forget, we're doing this to have fun! (By the way: I'm going to eat these words a bit later on in this FAQ. Stay tuned.) 5.3 Some General Things to Watch Out For in the Human SCC --------------------------------------------------------------------- * At the outset, it is very important to WATCH YOUR WALLET! Make sure that you always have enough weaponry to net you a steady income. Later in the game, you will probably be rich beyond your wildest dreams, and this ceases to be a concern. * Don't spend too much money on high-quality weaponry. Cheaper is better; save the greater portion of your cash for procuring stat boosting items. You should be shopping with this list of priorities in mind: 1. Strong and Agility Potions 2. Armor 3. MaxHP boosting potions 4. HP recovery items (Elixir, XPotion, etc.) 5. Powerful weapons You will be finding enough powerful weapons throughout your journey that you really won't need to buy any. Spend your extra cash on stacks of fly-swatters (ie low-level weapons) instead. * On a related note, try to buy LOTS of cheap weapons (eg Battle swords) when they are accessible to you. Most of the weapons for sale in the 3rd and 4th worlds are ridiculously expensive, and you will be strong enough that nothing will really be able to stand against you no matter WHAT weapon you use. * DON'T SAVE unless you are ABSOLUTELY SURE you haven't screwed anything up. You only have one save slot here, so you have to use it wisely. * DON'T GO BALLISTIC with the stat-boosting items. If you ever go over 254 STR or AGI, the resulting integer overflow will knock the stat in question into the single digits. Keep in mind that much of the equipment found at the end of the game will give you STR and AGI bonuses; having astronomical stats will prevent you from using these items, since wearing them will push your stats over the limit of 255. Keep track of your STR and AGI, and make sure it doesn't go over 220 or so. You can completely max out your character once you've finalized your end-game equipment. * Once you build more than 99 STR or AGI, CHECK YOUR STATS every time you apply stat-boosting items to your character! If you accidentally push a stat over the 255 limit and it wraps around to 1, it is going to be almost impossible to build it up again. I have the tendency to save automatically after doing anything "good" to my character; this habit can be EXTREMELY dangerous when applying Strong and Agility potions. Be careful. * Since magic and status attacks are going to be your Achilles heel, hang on to any resistant armors that you can get your grubby paws on. If you're wearing the Dragon armor and you find a Suit for sale that would increase your defense by 10 or so at the expense of your resistances, DON'T BUY IT! Being immune to your most potent weaknesses is far more desirable than having physical attacks do a few less points of damage to you on average. * Learn this key sequence -- A, B, SELECT, START. You're going to be using it often. Pressing and momentarily holding these four buttons will soft-reset the game and bring you immediately to the title screen. Not only is this faster than the hard-reset, but it saves the state of the random-number generator, meaning that you'll have more "luck" in avoiding a random battle if it keeps cropping up. The Game Boy Advance is especially notorious for it's foofy pseudo-randomness, so you're better off using the soft-reset. * RESIST TEDIUM. If you are playing really meticulously and you find that the SCC is becoming more like work than entertainment, loosen up a bit. Your character doesn't need to be _perfect_ to survive on his or her own. Don't try to emulate those Everquest drones that make something that is supposed to be a fun experience into an ulcer-inducing quest for perfection. With these general rules in mind, it's time to begin the SCC in earnest! 5.4 Human SCC Game Guide --------------------------------------------------------------------- I hesitate to call this part of the FAQ a "walkthrough", because I'm not really going to walk you through anything. Basically, I'm going to assume that you know the sequence of events that are required to finish the game, and I'll just point out things that pertain to the SCC. For a real walkthrough for FFL, check out RPaulson's FAQ for more FFL information than you will ever need. 5.4.1 World I ..................................................................... Surviving the first world is the most difficult part of the SCC. If you prepare your character properly in this world, you've already won -- the rest of the game will consist of you ascending the tower and making Spam of any living (or undead) organism that tries to hinder you. I personally prefer to use a Human Female in the SCC because she starts the game with a Sabre, which can be sold for a whole whack of gold at the beginning of the game. I'm sure you'll do fine with a Male, though, so pick whatever suits you. When the game opens, unequip your hero's weapon and make your way to the weapons counter and buy a Rapier (If you're playing a Male, your weapon is almost worthless and there aren't any cheaper strength weapons to buy, so you can't do much shopping: don't bother with this step. Do you see why starting with a female character is so much easier?). Spend the rest of your cash on Agility potions. Alternately, you could forego the Agility potions and invest in the Gold armor and Gold glove right away. With 8 agility, you'll still be inflicting decent damage with your Rapier, but you won't be hit as hard as you would be if you were armorless. It's really up to you. I generally opt for the Agility potions, myself. Now the fun begins. Walk around outside the town and fight Goblins and Albatros' to make some cash. You should be avoiding Lizards and Zombies at this point because they net you the same amount of cash even though they are much more difficult to kill (Zombies especially, since they have 60HP compared to 40 for a Lizard and 20 for a Goblin or Albatross). Your priority right now is to buy all of the Bronze equipment (in the case that you decided to buy Agility potions with your leftover Sabre money) and raise your Agility a few points. The first Agility potion you suck down should raise your AGI by quite a bit, so get one as soon as you can. While it is tedious, I suggest that you reset the game every time you get hit for now -- the extra money you make this way will help A LOT (this isn't true if you're already wearing the Gold armor). Once your Agility is at around 18 or so, you should be able to hack your way to the forest town where King Armor's girly-girl is pining away her days. I find that the Goblins and Albatros' are more plentiful around here (ie in forest terrain), so things should go a bit faster. You should be aiming to acquire all of the available Gold equipment (it's not really that expensive) and to knock your Agility up to around 35. Alternately, you could fight the Lizards wandering around the Bandit's cave. (Thanks to Andrew Brown for pointing this out. I do a lot of training in this area almost every time I run an SCC, but somehow I forgot to mention it here). If you can afford an HP200 or two, go for it, but I'd stay away from the Strong potions for now. Additionally, you can stop resetting the game every time you take damage -- it's not worth the time and effort anymore. Having done this, spleunk through the Bandit's cave and slice him a new one. Don't worry about his venomous counterattack -- Poison doesn't stick with you after the battle is over. After bringing the good news to Mrs. Armor, make the long trek back to Castle Armor to receive your reward. Congratulations! You are now practically invincible! There aren't really any monsters on this world that can cut through the King's Armor. I shouldn't have to tell you to save your shiny suit of Gold Armor, though -- the King's gear is just on extended loan. :/ Relish in your tankness for a while, and then hotfoot it to King Sword's castle in the south. Run from the enemies here, slowly making your way towards King Sword's antechamber. His attacks shouldn't be able to touch you, so just peel his hide away with your Rapiers and procure the King Sword off of his ribboned corpse. This is great! Now you're invincible AND you have a weapon that never breaks! You know what this means -- it's time for some SERIOUS levelling. This will definitely be the most boring part of the SCC, but some hard work now will save you a lot of grief later. Camp out in one of the hallways of Castle Sword and keep running into the guards that are wandering around -- you should be able to slaughter them without any trouble. Your strength should be really pathetic right now, so winning these fights will take a while at first -- it's time to start investing in Strong potions. I know it's a bit extreme, but you should juice your hero until you have roughly 100 STR and AGI and around 200HP. This shouldn't take more than a few hours, and it will ensure that you'll be able to get through some tough situations later on. (It was pointed out to me that if you want to be sneaky, you could park yourself in front of a guard and put a rock or something on the A button of your Gameboy. Leave the thing on for a night or so, and you'll have a whole whack of cash that you can readily spend. Thanks to Alexander Wu for this tip.) By the way, once your STR and AGI go over 99, I STRONGLY suggest that you keep track of their "real" values on a scrap of paper or something. This will keep you from having to play guessing games with your stats later on. You should NOT, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, let your STR or AGI go above 235 -- if it does, you might be locking yourself out of some effective armor combinations. Let's get hacking! *...many battles later...* Can you FEEL the POWER?!?! You are truly a force to be reckoned with! Dealing over 500dmg to enemies with only the most basic weapons, you are now ready to ascend to the next world. Make a quick side trip to pick up the King's shield, and then purchase a few Long swords to help you through the Tower. Go to the Town of Hero and bid a fond farewell to the King's equipment -- it was great while it lasted! Don your old gear, and get ready to mix it up with Gen-Bu. If you've prepared yourself to the degree that I suggested above, you should be able to clean this thing's clock with a couple of swings of your Long Sword. If you're slightly weaker than I expected you to be, equipping an X-Potion will help out a lot. I've beaten Gen-Bu with a lone Oni, though, so you really shouldn't have much trouble. Before entering the tower, you should have at least one X-Potion and two spare Long Swords in your inventory. You probably won't need them all, but playing it safe is what the SCC is all about. 5.4.2 The Ascent to World II ..................................................................... This should be relatively straightforward. Killing everything in your path on your way to the next world will fatten your wallet with very little effort required on your part, so don't be merciful. It is a very BAD IDEA to fight enemies from the Eye or Slime group, though -- their Beam and Drink/Melt attacks ignore your armor. If you encounter any, RUN! Unfortunately, the only weapon you find on your way up is the Colt, which is completely worthless. It only sells for about 40GP, so it's not worth hanging on to. Just a quick note here -- I've noticed that it becomes IMPOSSIBLE to score a hit with projectile weapons once your stats have become really high. If anyone has any explanations or comments about this observation, drop me a line. Andrew Brown observed that if you keep your levelling to sort of a minimum in World I, you can gain a lot of cash in a hurry in that last giant room that holds the entrance to World II. There's a healing pool in there, and the enemies come in large clumps and drop a decent amount of gold. If you bring enough weapons along with you, it's relatively easy to raise the roughly 40000-50000 gold you need to max out your hero. I personally prefer to incrementally raise stats as I go, but Andrew made the good point that by raising the money all at once and purchasing the bulk of your potions in one go, you won't have to worry about keeping track of the actual value of your stats -- you can just do the math once and then progress worry-free through the game. 5.4.3 World II ..................................................................... Ah... fresh ocean air! Your stay in this world WILL resemble a vacation, so the setting is certainly appropriate. Make sure to check in at the town and spend some of your Tower-earned currency. While you will be able to buy powerful armor later on in this world, I still recommend that you pick up some new equipment here -- it's important to have the highest defense possible in the SCC. Snatch a few stat-boosters while you're here, but stay away from the weapons. Your Long Swords will suffice for now. From now on, you should be investing in Strong and Agility potions in small batches as you progress until you max out. There's really no need to spend an inordinate amount of time levelling if you did your homework in World I -- buying a few stat-boosters here and there will still net you 200+ STR and AGI by the end of the game, and you won't go nuts fighting the same enemies over and over again. Anyways, it's time to begin your hunt for the foofy floating island. The enemies on this continent have the extraordinaily ANNOYING habit of repeatedly casting Sleep spells on you -- which, of course, you succumb to every time. While this is infuriating, it's not really all that dangerous, since these opponents have a difficult time inflicting damage on you anyways. Stay away from the Bull and Tiger type monsters -- they can hurt you badly. I shouldn't have to tell you to run from Eyes. If you ever find yourself drowning in cash, indulge yourself with some Battle Swords -- they're going to be a staple in your inventory for the rest of the game, so you might as well become familiar with them now. Buying the Silver Armor is largely unnecessary, since you'll find one in the Underwater Castle. Basically, make your way through this entire world with your sword drawn -- slaughter EVERYTHING that doesn't put up significant resistance. If you do this instead of running from everything, you won't have to waste time levelling up later on. Facing Sei-Ryu, your weaponry should consist mainly of Battle Swords -- those Long Swords are quickly becoming outclassed. The Dragon-King of Astounding Irritability himself won't offer anything resembling a good fight -- you'll probably take him out before he can cause any damage. His Thunder spell usually misses, but you might have to suck down an X-Potion if it connects. Don't forget that you can leave the Underwater Castle instantly after beating Sei-Ryu by jumping into his orb! Before beginning the climb to World III, you should have a STR and AGI of ~140, and about 400HP. Buying 4 Battle Swords before you leave will guarantee that you won't have to purchase any other weapons for the rest of the game, but it's up to you. 5.4.4 The Ascent to World III ..................................................................... There's really not much to this climb. The only thing really worth keeping is the P-Knife, and that's just so you can sell it later. If you're having trouble defeating the enemies here, you're likely going to be in trouble when you arrive in World III. There seem to be an inordinate number of enemies who like casting Stone spells on you in this area of the Tower, so you might end up restarting frequently. 5.4.5 World III ..................................................................... The first thing you want to do when you get here is BUY THE DRAGON ARMOR! Not only is it stylish and creakingly comfortable, but it protects you from pretty much everything. This is going to be your most valued piece of equipment until you acquire the Band Helmet. I didn't really see any need to use any other weapon than the Battle Sword throughout this entire world -- you should be able to kill most enemies in one hit with it. If you failed to purchase enough of these trusty blades in World II, it's going to be almost impossible to find a cheap substitute: all of the strength weapons here cost upwards of 9800GP, and the cheaper Katanas and Sabres are twice as expensive as Battle Swords and aren't as effective. The moral of the story is obviously to stock up on Battle Swords in World II -- but you already did that, right? As for high-end equipment, you can pick up a L-Saber and a Giant Gauntlet when you're breaking out of Byak-Ko's floating palace. If you went overboard with the Strong potions (like I did), you might not be able to equip the Giant Gauntlet without having your strength wrap around to 0, which is a pretty tough break. Sell the Revenge sword -- it's absolutely useless to you. If something does enough damage to you that using the Revenge sword's counterstrike is even moderately effective, odds are that you're not going to make it through the battle. Byak-Ko himself is a pushover; just bust him with your nifty L-Saber, and head back to the Tower. You're probably going to want your character to have about 180 STR and AGI at this point, but you can keep your HP at 400 or 500. Keep in mind that it is actually cheaper and more effective to buy a whole whack of HP200s than it is to buy a single HP600, and once you're over 600HP, buying HP200s is the only financially feasible way of boosting your max HP. As you might suspect, boosting your max HP by one point at a time is excruciatingly tedious, so you might not have the patience to break the 600HP barrier. The enemies are about to start getting tougher, so make sure you have enough fly-swatters at your disposal to hack through this part of the game! Otherwise, you might want to scoot back down to World II to relieve the shopkeepers of a crapload of their Battle Swords. 5.4.6 The Ascent to World IV ..................................................................... You're going to net yourself a whole bunch of useful equipment on this leg of your journey. The Vampic, P-Sword and Revive are obviously useless to you, but they'll sell for a huge wad of cash once you get where you're going. The Army helmet provides a significant improvement to your defense, and the Elixirs are VERY handy to have in your inventory, although unfortunately they can't be used in battle when stored on your person. Or at least, I haven't figured out why they REFUSE to show up on my battle menu when I equip them. If anyone wants to prove how much of an idiot I am by telling me how to do this, then feel free to email me. 5.4.7 World IV ..................................................................... Completing this world with only a single character is liable to take a VERY LOOONG time because there are so many quests to complete, and almost all of the monsters require a couple of hits to kill -- and it certainly doesn't help that most of them travel in large packs. You may be tempted to buy the Suit right off the bat, but the Dragon armor is much better because of the resistances it provides. You might want to buy the Suit as a backup armor for fighting battles against enemies that you are absolutely certain will not use magic or status attacks against you. Again, I don't suggest buying any of the weapons here -- just use your cheapy Battle Swords against normal enemies. You'll be able to find enough killer weapons here for free that you won't even have to peek at what the weapon shop is selling. In fact, if you still have that L-Saber from World III, you might want to sell it or break it on ugly monster faces, because you'll be finding some items in this world that will outclass it. There are three pieces of equipment available in World IV that you DO NOT want to miss. The first is the horribly translated Catcraw: this baby will make the baddest bosses quake in their pixellated boots, and it's free! The second is impossible to miss, and possibly the greatest piece of armor in the game: the Band helmet. Once you get this, you can drop the Dragon armor and suit up in the Suit, since the Band will protect you from absolutely everything. The third and final item that you'll want to procure is the Hyper that is lying around the Skyscraper: this will prove very useful during the endgame. I know that some people find using the Hyper sort of cheap, so go ahead and sell it if you're the anal type. For all of his bluster and fire, Su-Zaku is one horrible wanker of a boss. I think you'd stand a good chance at beating him with a fourth- tier monster, so your roid-case of a human should be able to fricasee him with little effort. Before leaving this world, it's a good idea to have your hero more or less maxed out. The Northeast town is a great place to boost your HP, since there is a vendor in the southeast corner of the town that sells the HP200s you'll need to stack your HP above 600. At this point in the game, the short unsigned integer is the only limit when it comes to upgrading stats, since money is so plentiful in World IV. While it's great to have a hero with 255 STR, 255 AGI, and 999HP, it does take a lot of the challenge out of the endgame. No matter what your decision, make sure you've tailored your character's stats to your desires before moving on, since we're fast running out of game to play. :) 5.4.8 The Divine Whacking of Ashura ..................................................................... While you'll pick up a lot of uber-weapons on your ascent to Ashura's lair, only two are really worth keeping: the Xcalbr, and the Glass sword. The Nuke will probably do less damage than your melee attack on a boss, and it seems kind of silly to use it against a normal group of enemies. Often overlooked, the Door is an INCREDIBLY useful item at this point in the game -- if you think you've missed anything along the way, or if you want to juice your hero up a bit more, just use the Door to return to World I. It only takes about 20 minutes or so to climb back up to World IV, and if you're hurting for weapons or stat-boosters, it's well worth it. (As of version 2.0: I only just realized, after playing this game for about 8 years now, that you can use the door to go to *any* floor of the tower, not just the first! Ugh.) Ashura is the first tricky boss you encounter in the SCC; fortunately, he is also one of the last. My first time through, I had absolutely no trouble because his 3-heads attack couldn't touch me through my astronomical agility. The second time around, I wasn't so lucky. Nonetheless, as long as you're packing the Glass sword, some magic-resistant armor, and a curative item, this battle should be elementary. Don't forget that you have to approach Ashura from the left when walking up to him, otherwise you'll be warped back down to the bottom of the escalator. Isn't that cute. :/ (Radon mentions that Revenge can actually come in handy against Ashura if he decides to wack you with 3HEADS... maybe in some cases the Revenge reflects more damage than is caused? It's worth trying if you're still carrying it.) After defeating Ashura, make sure that EVERYTHING is in order with your hero before progressing. If you feel that your character still has a few rough edges that need evening out, then by all means use the Door to return to World I. However, the fact that you were able to defeat Ashura in the first place indicates that you should be strong enough to finish the entire game. It's up to you. 5.4.9 The Sacreligious Finale ..................................................................... It's time to bring this game to its somewhat disturbing conclusion. First, you'll want to do some preparation for the final ascent. While the weapon store has some VERY powerful weapons, none of them are nearly as good as the Glass sword, except maybe the Sun Sword, and that's only because it is capable of causing critical hits. I chose not to buy anything, myself. If you have any fly-swatters left on you, you might as well get rid of them now. Sell all of your weapons except for the Glass Sword and maybe the Xcalbr, and buy yourself an Arcane at the item store. This allows you to use the absurdly powerful Glass sword as your primary melee attack without worrying about it running out of uses -- as soon as the blade is about to expire, just use the Arcane to top it back up. (Someone has told me that if you Arcane the Glass sword, it actually plunges to 1 use. This conceptually makes sense, since the Glass sword was intended to be a one-use item in the first place. However, I distinctly remember using the Arcane to boost the Glass sword back up to 50 uses, so I'm not sure what the truth is here, and I always seem to forget to test it when I get to Tower part deux.) The Arcane is my favorite item in the game, hands-down. If you want to make the upcoming boss fights really easy on yourself, then you should also make sure that you're carrying the Hyper. Finally, if you're the cautious type, you'll probably want to be carrying a Door with you in case you need to flee back to the Base Town for healing. I would hold off on buying armor, since you're going to find much cooler stuff on the last leg of your journey. Once you think you're totally prepared, bust out those Spheres and wreck that Tower door. You're probably going to want to run from all of the random encounters in the final incarnation of Tower, simply because most of the enemies are HPmongers and will chew through your Glass sword really quickly. Most of the enemy packs are exceptionally easy to run away from. Every piece of equipment that you find during your climb is useful, with the possible exception of the Masmune. The Arthur armor is a welcome substitute for your Suit (or your Dragon Armor, depending on how outdated your wardrobe is), and the Ninja Gauntlet and Shoe are nifty accessories that should boost your defense well over 70. If you decide to use the Hyper against the revamped Fiends, then the walk up to Paradise will probably be a leisurely one, although the futuristic gizmo does miss fairly often -- it was probably made by Microsoft. Even without the Hyper, the fact that you are immune to practically everything and swinging an insanely powerful weapon with the strength of three giants means that none of these fights will be all that difficult for you. Keeping a few elixirs in your pack and an XPotion on your person is still a prudent thing to be doing, though. (As an aside: When you're traversing that final escalator to Paradise that shoots you into outer space, Radon tells me that if you lean on the left or right key -- I'm not sure which -- you can actually slip off the escalator into a little 'side compartment'. Useless, but cool! It's fun discovering these little gotchas :) The final battle with the Creator can be unpredictable, to say the least. The Creator is the only enemy in the game who is capable of damaging you significantly in every round, although he tends to waste a lot of turns using stupid attacks like REPENT and LIGHT. You would do well to remember, though, that it will only take a few doses of RIGHT or FLARE to put you in a world of hurt -- so don't get cocky. Despite all of this, there is really no strategy to this fight. Swing the Glass sword with all of your might each round, and hope that the random number generator doesn't decide to kick your head in with a bunch of consecutively powerful attacks. With a well-prepared character and a little bit of luck, you should be able to send the Creator to wherever it is that Gods (or God impersonators) go when their 4-bit creations come back and make a fatal mockery of them. And now for the generic congratulatory message: Congratulations! You have just completed the Final Fantasy Legend Single Character Challenge! Ugh... that made me feel so *dirty*. 6. The Mutant SCC ===================================================================== We open with a discussion of why most of the criticisms I had about Mutants in the previous section aren't all that relevant, and why Mutants make for a very casual SCC. 6.1 Why Most of What I Said Before About Mutants Doesn't Matter --------------------------------------------------------------------- * REASON I: THINGS IN GAMEBOY ARE NOT AS RANDOM AS THEY APPEAR One of the main reasons I initially had for excluding Mutants from the SCC is that gains are only acquired randomly and thus you could potentially be involved in a lot of fights without any discernible benefit. However, for various technical reasons, the Gameboy consoles always generate the same sequence of random numbers after a hard reset (shutting the power on and off), and so the sequence of events that occurs after you power up the game will always be essentially the same (I assume this is because the GBA does not have the internal clock that programmers need to select a 'random' seed for their generator). This limitation has been used to great effect by GBA gamers in RPGs like Golden Sun to allow easy retrieval of otherwise extremely rare equipment drops. This allows us to devise a strategy that will result in quick, predictable gains for our Mutant. If you are playing this game via PC emulation, the RNG will likely not be predictable (since the typical ANSI C rand() uses a the system clock time as a seed) unless you can access some sort of debug menu in your emulator that allows you to specify a seed. Also, you may think of this sort of "random number generator manipulation" as cheating: I, however, think of it as saving my sanity. If you want to be a purist and spend long hours fighting monsters for indeterminate benefit, then go right ahead. But you could have done that without the use of this guide, now, couldn't you? :D * REASON II: YOUR BODY IS THE WEAPON Another concern I initially had with Mutants is that their carrying capacity is 3/4s that of a human (4 slots on person + 8 slots inventory for a Mutant, compared to 8 slots on person + 8 slots inventory for Human). In practice, though, the Mutant actually ends up with almost MORE space to spare than Humans, because they have some innate strengths that Humans have to rely on items and equipment for. One of the really neato (and almost unfair) things about Mutants is that they have a natural defense than can grow just like any of their other statistics. I will show you in the Game Guide that it is actually quite simple to boost your Mutant's defense to the point where he/she can be wearing absolutely no armor at all and still have a defense of 99. This instantly frees up about 3-4 slots that a Human would normally require for armor. And don't forget the Mutant's abilities! If you've got a Heal ability, that's two less X-Potions that you'll have to carry with you. If you've got Teleport, who needs a Door? So it is easy to see that, if you play just a little smart and pay careful attention to the abilities that you are gaining and losing, inventory space will not be any more of a problem for Mutants than it is for Humans. * REASON III: LIFE IS EASY When you stop and think about it, the game really isn't all that tough (at least not until you fight the last couple of bosses). I made a big deal about the damage potential of humans being much greater than that of mutants etc., but in the end there aren't really all that many enemies or bosses that dish out a heck of a lot of damage. Once you have a reasonably high agility (over 70 or so) it's pretty darn easy to run away from any 'normal' monsters, and a Mutant with a single high combat stat (be it Mana or Strength or Agility) should always be able to cause enough damage to squeak out a victory against any opponent. Also, the Mutant will continue to gain HP throughout the game, while raising the HP of a Human over 600 can be extremely strenuous on the fingers. This extra HP, coupled with a greater healing potential during battle, will generally allow a Mutant to whack the same monsters as a human, even if it does take them a bit longer. 6.2 Some General Things to Watch Out For in the Mutant SCC --------------------------------------------------------------------- * Because you won't have the same ultra-buff stats as a human, and you won't be spending a heck of a lot of money on items, splurging on the occasional powerful weapon or spell is probably a good idea. Really, what else are you going to do with the money? * Check your stats after EVERY BATTLE! If everything still looks good, save. If you lose an ability that you really liked, SOFT reset the game (start + select + A + B) and try the fight again. If you hard-reset the game, you'll just replay the same sequence of battles that led you to that ability loss in the first place. * DON'T SAVE unless you are ABSOLUTELY SURE you haven't screwed anything up. You only have one save slot here, so you have to use it wisely. (I've said it once, but it's worth saying again). * Your Mutant is *not* going to be well-rounded if you follow my strategy. Specifically, Strength is going to be extremely lacking. For this reason, if you ever find that you've learned a Power ability, HOLD ON TO IT! If your strength is less than (roughly) 50, two Powers will make you as 'good' as an SCC human with Strength weapons for one battle. You will otherwise be relying on Defense, Agility, and Mana to get you through -- and really, even Agility becomes unimportant in the endgame. * Once you get a piece of magic-resistant armor (Dragon armor or Band), it's worth equipping it so that you can get rid of abilities that confer resistance. One piece of protect-all armor is more space efficient than two or three Protect-(element) abilities. On the other hand, a Mutant with a high Mana score will not take very much damage from spells (except Flare). So, you might want to avoid armor altogether until the 4th world or so when monsters start trying to insta-kill you, if you're keen on keeping an extra slot free. It all depends on your playing style, I suppose. * Don't be afraid to go naked. Once your natural defense is high enough to protect you from monsters, DON'T waste inventory space on armor, except maybe for a piece that grants many resistances. * Don't count on getting a lot of good abilities if you're using a GBA or GBA SP. The random number generation on these consoles is such that you don't start gaining abilities at all until you've fought several battles in one sitting without hard resetting, and these aren't all that great. I think I spent the entire game with Flame, Power, and Forseen as my only abilities. If you're dead set on picking up some good innates, it's going to require fighting MANY battles in a row without powering down. If you have another console handy (GBC, pocket, Super Gameboy, or even the ol' brick), you might want to switch to it for a while to shake things up a bit. * RESIST TEDIUM. As noted in the Human SCC. This is easier with the Mutant SCC because you have a number of different abilities at your disposal, and because the initial training required for a Mutant is significantly less than that of a Human. You'll see why this is in the next section. 6.3 Mutant SCC Game Guide --------------------------------------------------------------------- I hesitate to call this part of the FAQ a "walkthrough", because I'm not really going to walk you through anything. Basically, I'm going to assume that you know the sequence of events that are required to finish the game, and I'll just point out things that pertain to the SCC. For a real walkthrough for FFL, check out RPaulson's FAQ for more FFL information than you will ever need. 6.3.1 World I ..................................................................... Much like the Human SCC, surviving World I is the most difficult part of the Mutant SCC (sort of). Training a Mutant is slightly less tedious than training a Human, though (unless you walk the Human in front of one of those goons in King Sword's castle and leave your Gameboy on all night with a rock leaning against the A button), so this won't be so bad. Unlike the Human SCC, starting with the male is almost impossible. Well, maybe not impossible, but difficult enough that there's really no reason not to pick the Mutant female. Because the Male relies on strength weapons, and his starting weapon is worth so little gold, it's VERY hard to get a leg up on the first few fights -- especially since you usually gain MaxHP faster than you can make money, and you can't partially heal hitpoints at the inn (stupid). So, I'm writing this guide with the assumption that you've selected a Mutant female. The Mutant male is dopey-looking anyhow, and you're going to be looking at that little jerky sprite for quite some time. First thing to do is to unequip your Saber and sell it at the weapons counter. Buy two Rapiers, Gold armor and a Gold glove. Equip them all. Walk out of the town, and SAVE. Now, hard-reset the game. In case you didn't hear me: H-A-R-D R-E-S-E-T the GAME! If you don't, you're going to be very confused in a moment or so. (The intro sequence consumes random numbers in a way that is totally unclear to me, so it's better to start with a 'clean slate' for what we're about to do). This is where we get sneaky. Unfortunately, I've only experimented with being sneaky on a Game Boy Advance, because I do not own any other versions of the console. (Actually, that's somewhat of a lie: I do have a GB Color kicking around here somewhere, but I'm too lazy to compare results on it). Andrew Brown has confirmed my suspicions that this process also works on the SP. If you try this with a different console, let me know how it turns out. Emulated results aren't really of interest to me, since I imagine that they would vary a lot (I could be wrong about that, depending on how nitty-gritty the emulator programmers were about capturing hardware behaviour). Start thwacking monsters. You should be able to kill anything short of a Redbull right off the bat, and if you're doing this right you won't be meeting any of those. If you're observant, you'll notice that the first few fights will follow this sequence: 1 - Against a Lizard. You will gain 11 MaxHP. 2 - Against a Zombie. You will gain 2 Agility. 3 - Against a Zombie. You will gain 2 Mana. 4 - Against a Goblin. You gain nothing. 5 - Against a Zombie. You gain nothing. 6 - Against a Lizard. You gain 2 Defense. The trick here is to fight (and win) 6 battles, and then HARD reset the game and do it again ad nauseum. Repeat until your stats are as high as you like! (You can visit the Inn in between fights and still experience the same gains. In fact, you could probably run away from fights and still pick up the gains associated with their respected victories, but since an attempt to run also likely consumes a random number or two, you might skew the results this way.) The great thing about this strategy is that it doesn't matter WHAT point in the game you're at, it will ALWAYS work! That is, your first 6 victories after a hard reset will always guarantee that you pick up +11 MaxHP, +2 Agility, +2 Mana, and +2 Defense. This doesn't sound like much, but after doing it a whole bunch of times, your natural defense will be high enough that you won't have to worry about wearing armor for the rest of the game, and the rest of your stats won't be too shabby either! If you feel like this is cheating, I suppose you could do it the 'hard way' by fighting battles until you've made enough gains to satisfy you, but that will likely take a staggering amount of time. Whatever suits you best. Keep in mind that whichever method you use, your Strength growth will probably be abysmal. (It will certainly be abysmal with the first method, since you *never* gain Strength that way). This isn't such a big problem (yet), since there are plenty of beefy Agility and Mana based weapons out there. Also, you'll likely pick up a few rare points here and there throughout the course of normal play, assuming you don't flee very often. (Andrew Brown has reported that the Mutant male is do-able, despite what I said before. He recommends going to the forest right away to fight Albatros', since they're fairly easy to kill. He also notes that you should gain Barrier fairly quickly, which helps a lot in protecting you. The stat progression for Mutant males is identical to the female after the hard reset, oddly enough. Once you start making money, first buy a Rapier to take advantage of your Agility and then buy Bronze armor as soon as you can.) Once you've done 3 or 4 cycles of six battles followed by a hard reset, you'll make your life easier by buying some more Rapiers and fighting in the forest surrounding the town of Hero to the southeast. The enemies there will attack more frequently and you'll meet Goblins and Albatros' (20HP) instead of a bunch of Zombies and Lizards (60HP and 40HP respectively). When your agility is about 18 or 20, buy yourself a couple of spellbooks and more rapiers. Mosy on over to the Bandit's Cave and equip a spellbook and a Rapier (along with the Gold equipment) and snuggle up to the Lizards you find walking around there. You'll fight them in cycles of 6 as before, except now it will go much faster because you won't have to waste all that time walking around! When you meet a group of more than one, blast them with magic; otherwise, just skin the singletons with your Rapier. You'll make more than enough money this way to compensate for the large number of spellbooks and Rapiers you'll need to buy. While you could potentially level up here for a while and then kill the Bandit to grab the King's Armor, I prefer to MAX OUT here because it really doesn't take long. When your natural defense hits about 40, drop the Gold equipment and wield another spellbook/Rapier combo so you don't have to worry about being caught empty-handed. Keep mangling those Lizards until you have an Agility, Mana, and Defense of 99 (or whatever number you have decided on as a ceiling). Guess what? That's pretty much all the training you're going to have to do for the rest of the game! I think I spent about a couple of hours in the cave before maxing out. Now the only things you have to worry about are making money for equipment and tweaking your ability set! I wouldn't worry about getting to 999HP at this juncture, though. Since you gain at least 11HP every time you pick up your GBA (as long as you fight one battle), it won't take long before you're quite the meat shield. Also, don't fret if you have a crummy ability set (all I had was Power and Stealth for the entirety of World I). With this level of training, you're going to be able to wax every monster that you come across for the next little while as long as you're holding at least one Rapier and spellbook. As a gauge, when I hit 99 DEF, AGI, and MANA, I had 670HP and about 20000 gold. As far as I can tell, trying to train past 99 in any statistic is ineffective (except maybe Mana, and I'm still unsure about that), so I wouldn't waste your time doing it. I'm not sure why the programmers would have remembered to enforce the 99 cap for Mutants and not for Humans, but there it is nevertheless. Once you've done this, the rest of World I can be completed in about 10 minutes or so. Walk down a floor, splatter the P-Frog bandit (that sounds like a name for some ska band or something) all over the walls, and return to Castle Armor to pick up the King's Armor. Don't bother wearing it. Then, waltz down to King Sword's lair and tear him a new one as well. Finally, grab the King's Shield from the treacherous steward at Castle Shield. With 99 Agility or Mana, you should be able to destroy Gen-Bu with a single Rapier blow or spell. When he's dead, prepare for your ascent by putting 2 Rapiers and 2 Fire or Ice books on your person, and perhaps a couple of each in your inventory as well. (It's more important to stockpile Rapiers than it is to load up on spells -- you'll be able to buy spellbooks in World II). A single X-Potion will suffice for healing. (You probably won't even need it, unless you start tackling a LOT of Slimes). Return to Base Town and enter the Tower. 6.3.2 The Ascent to World II ..................................................................... This isn't much different than the Human ascent. You likely won't get hurt unless you tangle with Slimes, and you should have enough HP to be able to withstand several Melt attacks. There are plenty of healing pools along the way, so there's no need to worry if you didn't pack any curative items. 6.3.3 World II ..................................................................... Most monsters in this world won't pose a threat. As usual, Eyes aren't such a good idea to be fighting. The great thing is that your high Mana score will prevent the annoying Sleep spells of the Magicians from connecting. You'll be able to pick up the Cure book in this world for the first time. I find it handy to carry one with me on my person all the time, but you certainly won't need more than one. I found that Rapiers were just effective enough to kill most enemies in a single hit. So, hopefully you brought enough of them with you from the previous world. Otherwise, you can break down and buy some Sabers, as they're not all that expensive. Fire, Ice, and Elec spells are obviously really handy for crunching groups of monsters, especially in Sei-Ryu's castle where you meet giant clumps of Cactus' and the like. Sei-Ryu is a pushover. Two swings of a Rapier should do it. He hasn't really got any attacks that can penetrate your stone hide or your formidable Mana shield. Don't forget that you can leave the Underwater Castle instantly after beating Sei-Ryu by jumping into his orb! You won't need to do much shopping to prepare for the climb to World III. If you want, you can buy a bunch of Sabers now before you leave, or you can wait until you get there. You might as well get rid of any Rapiers that you still have kicking around, since they're not going to be very useful on the way up. Really, a single Saber and your favorite flavour of spellbook should be more than enough. 6.3.4 The Ascent to World III ..................................................................... As I've indicated, you're not going to be able to one-hit kill the creeps in this section of the Tower with a measly Rapier. Sabers are more effective. Of course, if you're impatient you can just blast them with magic or abilities (you should at least have one Flame ability by now). You'll grab the juicy P-Knife on the way up, which is roughly as effective as the Saber when your Agility and Mana are both at 99. It's nice to have an alternative though, and oh-so-stylish to be wielding sword and dagger akimbo. Brings back memories from the MUDding days... and maybe even some flashbacks of trashy R.A. Salvatore novels. 6.3.5 World III ..................................................................... World III is a great place for a Mutant to be, especially an Agility-dependent Mutant. There are Sabers available as soon as you arrive, and when you pick up the Glider you'll be able to access L-Sabers and all the spells you've ever wanted in the hidden cloud town to the northeast. I didn't bother buying the Dragon armor here, because there weren't really any spells that were punching through the Mana resistance (at least not until I fought Byak-Ko). It's up to you, though. You're going to want to keep at least 5 slots empty until you get tossed in jail for rescuing Jeanne, because the stuff you find in the Jailhouse treasure room is GREAT, even if you just decide to sell it all (although Death and the L-Saber are HANDY). The Revenge is worth a tidy bit of cash as well. (I'm wondering how my little Mutant female managed to bend those bars with her paltry 9 Strength :/ ). I was wielding Sabers when I met Byak-Ko, and I was somewhat surprised that he was actually able to HIT me! His attacks didn't do much more than 40-100 damage per round, though, and he usually wastes a lot of turns using SPHERE, so he's really not a threat -- especially if you're carrying a Cure spellbook or a Rod. Before you leave World III, you might want to head back to cloud town to pick up an L-Saber, a few Death books, and maybe even a Flare book. When you first leave the Floating Castle after butchering the White Tiger, you'll only be able to enter the Southern town or the Tower, at which point you'll lose the Glider. If you want another, revisit the guards in the Pub at the Southern town, and one of them will summon a new vehicle for you. That'll open up the Northeast town to you again. 6.3.6 The Ascent to World IV ..................................................................... This is where things start to become painful. It turns out that a DEF of 99 isn't a panacea when you hit this point in the game; monsters start to steadily hurt you more and more, and your low stats (relative to a human's) become a liability. The following monsters can potentially cause you some problems on the way up: The Ogres in the cloudy sub-world (they come in huge packs and beat the snot out of you); Jellies (that Melt hurts more and more with every new enemy it manifests itself in); Claymen (stupid Gas); and finally, HUNTERS! Fighting a monster that has both Saw and Gas is NOT fun, especially when they have a tendency to strike first! Save the P-Sword and the Vampic when you pick them up; they'll be handy in World IV. Use Death like a hammer whenever you encounter groups of more than one enemy or so. I hope you bought a lot of Death books! You're going to be chewing through them pretty quickly from hereon in. 6.3.7 World IV ..................................................................... So, now we have some problems. When you hit World IV, the encounter rate (seemingly) shoots through the roof, the enemies come in large packs, and they can all take nasty chunks out of your hide. I can't really think of a single enemy in World IV that can't do at least 100 points of damage to you with their most powerful attack(s). My strategy here was to switch to a totally Mana-oriented offense. I'm not sure about this, but it seems that your Mana score may continue to increase past 99 -- or maybe it's that the Mana-based weapons and attacks aren't effected as heavily by the waxing defenses of your opponents. In any case, I found that Agility-based weapons (even Catcraw!) just weren't causing enough damage at this juncture (especially since LOTS of higher-level monsters have O-Weapon). The result of this is that I relied on P-Swords to attack single enemies and Death spells to knock out groups. The Vampic is a handy alternative to casting Cure, because it will generally patch up a couple of major hits while still causing a decent amount of damage (especially since it ignores resistances like Melt does). Really, though, my offense consisted almost entirely of slinging Death at anything that did so much as sneeze at me. This makes fights *very* easy, and nets you a lot of cash in a hurry. It helps that not too many encounters are against O-Para enemies. Another problem that I found with World IV is that it suddenly became *really* hard to run away -- especially from stupid Su-Zaku. I hit A+B+Start+Select often until I picked up the Band. Once you get the Band, you'll be immune to enough attacks that you shouldn't be taking too much damage. Of course, wearing the Band reduces your offensive options by one, but this is a minor inconvenience considering how much easier it makes your life. If you're silly enough to visit the Library to find the directions to Akiba (it's not like they ever change), the Robots there will quickly make you wish that you'd never left So-Cho's pub. Oh, and good luck running from them. The only saving grace here is that the bosses in World IV are pushovers. Machine doesn't really have that much HP and falls quickly to a P-Sword assault, and Su-Zaku barely puts up a fight (you're immune to almost all of his attacks). Before you leave World IV, you're going to want a couple of P-Swords, a couple of Death books, and a Cure book (this means that you might have to backtrack to World III -- although you can wait to pick up the Door on the way up if you don't want to hoof it). The Vampic sword is about to become obsolete for various reasons, and so if you haven't already used it up, you can either start using it heavily or just sell it. Inventory space is about to become an issue anyways. 6.3.8 Things Aren't Getting Any Easier ..................................................................... Before we go on, you're probably going to want to make sure you've maxed out your HP. Trust me, you're going to need all nine-hundred and ninety-nine of those little buggers to grind your way through the last chunk of the game. This is where the Mutant SCC starts to differentiate itself from the Human SCC in terms of difficulty. Enemies that use attacks like 3Heads, Beam, Melt, Touch, etc. aren't just minor inconveniences anymore: a group of two or three of these suckers can tear you apart. Probably the most deadly enemy combination in the game is met on your way up to Ashura; large groups of Watchers and Wraiths. The Beams of the Watchers and the Touch of the Wraiths will make you hurt, indeed, and you can't even slaughter the Wraiths with Death. But we're in this for the challenge, right? So let's cut the whining and get on with it. The Glass sword, Flare book, and Door are handy to have. XCalbr does reasonable damage to groups of enemies, but the Death book KILLS them without any fuss. Get rid of it. The Aegis shield is obviously worthless to you, since it only protects you for a single turn. The N.Bomb is potentially useful for reasons that will be discussed in the next section, but I just dropped it. The Glass sword is really useful if you have Power; we'll talk about this later. If you find yourself running out of space, you can Door down to 10F (World III) to sell off your equipment and to use the cash you get in return to buy more spells (Death, Flare). MAKE SURE you have a Cure book equipped before you fight Ashura. The Vampic won't cut it here because Ashura is undead and thus O-Para. The fight against Ashura is an unpleasant inkling of what you'll have to face in the Creator. An AGI of 99 isn't really much help in avoiding Ashura's attacks, which means that a couple of 3Heads in a row will put you down and out, Cure or no Cure. I just repeatedly baked Ashura with Flare and crossed my fingers, curing only when it seemed it would be worth it. I think it actually took me a couple of restarts to beat Ashura. It's not easy. (As in the Human SCC guide, Radon mentions that Revenge can actually come in handy against Ashura if he decides to wack you with 3HEADS... maybe in some cases the Revenge reflects more damage than is caused? It's worth trying if you're still carrying it.) 6.3.9 Some Time to Reflect ..................................................................... Before you take that (probably fatal) next step into the world beyond, it's worth stopping at this point and thinking about what your strategy against Creator is going to be. In the Human SCC, everything you need to finish the game is handed to you on your way up (assuming you've kept the Glass sword from the previous incarnation of the Tower). Astronomical stats, fancy armor, and the Glass sword result in you causing about 700 or so points of damage every round, which allows you to avoid one really annoying aspect of the battle against Creator. That aspect is, of course, that he completely recovers himself when he falls below 500HP or so. As a Human, this almost never happens because you cause such a large amount of damage every turn. However, a Mutant doesn't really have any way of causing over ~400 damage with a single blow, and so the odds of you leaving Creator in the 'recovery range' are quite high. I think the Death books were the reason that I found the endgame of the Mutant SCC so surprisingly difficult. When you're killing dozens of enemies in mere seconds without batting an eyelash, you don't really stop to think about your damage potential until it's too late. What are our options here? My 'strategy' was to keep on doing what I had been doing; that is, packing Death and Psi-Swords to deal with 'normal' enemies, and then using Flare against the bosses. Unfortunately, Flare only causes roughly 300-420 dmg against Creator, and so you're almost CERTAIN to push him into that range where he'll recover all of his HP. Not fun. The Psi-Sword and Masmune are even worse; they only deal 100-250 dmg per turn. Conceivably, you could use Flare to push him down to about 600HP or so, and then 'finish him' with the N.Bomb. I've never tried this, but it might work. I think the best strategy, though (and it's one that I've only tested against Ashura, but the idea should scale) is to 'mimic' a Human by using Power to augment your Strength and then wail away with the Glass sword. If your Strength is around 40 or so, then this will work really well (I think my Strength was roughly around 40 when I reached the endgame). Two invocations of Power will push you up to about 240-250 Strength, which is a great range to be in when you're wielding the Glass sword :D. If your Strength is over 56, then you'll only be able to use Power once, for lesser effect. The reason you have to think about this now is that there is a distinct lack of Mutant-y equipment available in the "new" Tower. If you're going to use my initial strategy (that is, blindly whipping Flares and hoping that you'll make it through), you'll definitely want to Door to 10F to buy a couple of Flare books (they're handy against the four Fiends as well). In any case, you'll want to revisit World III again to buy at least one Cure book (essential when fighting Creator) and a couple of Death books so that you can actually MAKE it to the final battle. Don't forget that you can use Door to teleport back to Ashura's lair when it's time for you to leave. Ready? I hope so, because it's going to be tough to fix things if you're stuck in the next world unprepared. 6.3.10 Deicide is an Iffy Business ..................................................................... This is what we've been waiting for. It's time to hurt. On your march up the Tower, I found that equipping Band, a Psi-Sword, a Death book, and a Flare book was the most effective combination. You can use Cure from your inventory in between battles to top yourself up. The Fiends are pansies, so you should be able to thwack them using just the Psi-Sword. It's not necessary to bring the Hyper to take out these guys. I threw it away. I also didn't bother picking up the treasure chests on the way up. You don't have enough slots to be wearing ineffective equipment anyways. The only marginally useful item might be the nameless Shoe. When you face Creator, there's not much of a reason to continue wearing the Band. The Shoe or another Flare might be a better option (although if you can't kill Creator with an entire Flare book, he's probably recovered once and thus you're likely not going to survive). The Shoe only boosts your Mana by 10, but it's better than nothing. We've already discussed strategies against Creator in some detail, so there's not much to say here. I usually only casted Cure when my HP fell below 500 or so. There is a certain point in the fight when Creator will just start to HAMMER you with Flare on each turn, so Curing won't get you anywhere if you're stuck in that situation; time to soft-reset. If you're trying to thwack him using only Flare spells, you may find it useful to hit him once with the P-Sword to cause a 200-dmg "stagger" in your damage pattern if you find that he's constantly recovering at the end of the battle. I shouldn't have to tell you that hard-resetting isn't going to change your odds of success at all; soft-resets are the way to go. If you're having a REALLY tough time beating Creator, it's useful to keep track of the damage you're causing and on which turns he gets the initiative. Obviously, the best time to "put him away" is on a sequence of turns where he gets the initiative first, and then you get the initiative on the next turn. This way, you'll get *two* consecutive shots at him, allowing you to cause enough damage at once to prevent him from getting his turn while in the "recovery range". It is possible to win this fight in the same way that you jacked your stats; that is, by taking advantage of the predictability of the RNG. Although I haven't tried it myself, I've received several emails since the last version indicating that using the Glass Sword and 2x Power invocations is a really easy way of getting through this fight. If you can ensure that you have the Glass Sword, a Power ability, and less than 54 strength before you get here, things should be peachy. That's all I've got to say about that! A bit of persistence and a reasonable amount of preparation should get you through this fight. (The first time through, it took me about eight tries to beat him). Good luck! 7. The Monster SCC ===================================================================== 7.1 All I'm Going to Say About This --------------------------------------------------------------------- There are MANY reasons why a monster would have an EXTREMELY difficult time surviving the SCC, but only one of them really makes it impossible. If you are using the no-Saw rule stated above, there is NO WAY any monster could do enough damage to the final boss to kill it before it kills you. Plain and simple. Actually getting to the final boss is a heck of a challenge in itself; I've managed to do it, mainly by trying to stay within the Jelly class of monsters. Melt is GREAT against almost any opponent. It still sucks to have to constantly soft-reset when you get into a fight you can't run from, though. Now, if you drop the no-Saw rule, things don't really get that much better. s/p's Meat Transformation FAQ describes a way in which you can transform into a Saw-wielding Warrior in World I. Conceivably you could play through the entire game as a Warrior, Sawing through bosses and running from everything else. You could probably play around with Meat so that you could play through the game as a more useful Monster until you get to a boss, at which point you could switch back to a Warrior. However, if you EVER level PAST "monster level 12", there will be no going back to being a Warrior and thus you'll be back to square one, so you have to be careful. s/p's FAQ has a short discussion on the Monster SCC that you might find interesting. I personally find four- and three- Monster parties to be far more enjoyable than the Monster SCC, so maybe you'll find those to be better alternatives. 7.2 Future Work --------------------------------------------------------------------- When I performed my half-assed Monster SCC, I did it in a way that probably wasn't optimal. That is, I transformed into a Pudding in the first world, and didn't transform again until the very end of the game. Their stats are really crummy (except for Mana) though, and so there probably exists a better sequence of Monsters that you could use in each World to make life easier. If anyone has any suggestions for this sequence, let me know and I'll include it here. My SCCing days are pretty much over, though, so don't expect me to do it :D I've always thought the Monster SCC was a silly idea anyways. 8. Comments and Credits ===================================================================== Final Fantasy Legend is a truly odd gem of a game. Taken at face value, it is a horribly buggy, barely translated black-and-white RPG lacking any really innovative or unique gameplay features. However, the utterly bizarre and drug-induced flavour that the game exudes is capable of astonishing and absorbing people that are part of the small segment of the videogaming population that has an active imagination. This game has stimulated so many weird ideas in this old crankcase of mine that it actually inspired an entire novel! I am always willing to discuss this game on any level, so if you want to chat about FFL in any of its incarnations (I've played both sequels) PLEASE email me! I'd leave my email address in this FAQ, but it seems kind of silly to do that when you can just check my contributer profile. I'd really like to hear anything that you know about the original FFL design team and where they got their ideas for the setting and atmosphere, but that's most likely wishful thinking. There are, of course, a few people I would like to thank for their contributions to this FAQ. I'd like to thank RPaulsen for writing his incredible FFL FAQ, since it was reading his walkthrough that made me want to come back to this game in the first place. I'd also like to thank Harie0 from the GameFAQs FFL message board, who attempted the FFL SCC before me and inspired me to write a FAQ about it. Finally, Andrew Brown contributed a LOT to the second version of this guide, mostly by trying the all of the things that I didn't have the patience to try! He also offered lots of constructive criticism on the Human SCC which was very useful. So, many thanks to him as well! Also, one last shout-out to all of the people that just dropped me a line to tell me how much fun they had completing the SCC using this guide! Puts a smile on my face every time :D This guide was written using the Windows 9.x distribution of GVIM, which is quite possibly the greatest thing to come along since God created the naked girl. The text in this FAQ has been formatted to a width of 70-ish columns. I doubt that this is anything to worry about, but I'd really like it if this guide remained exclusive to GameFAQs. CJayC is one hell of a guy, and anything I can do to support him is good in my books. Thanks for taking the time to read this guide, and happy FFL'ing! 9. Version History ===================================================================== + Version 2.1 - Added Radon's comments about Revenge and Ashura - Removed some conflicting statements in the Mutant SCC Guide - Changed my contact info - fixed some typos in the Table of Contents + Version 2.0 - Added sections for Mutant SCC and Monster SCC - Added gotchas to some of the broad generalizations I made in the Human SCC section with respect to the Mutant SCC - Added a Table of Contents and a Version History section - Removed some of the stupider jokes/comments - Corrected a bad recommendation in the Human Game Guide where I advised Human Male characters to sell the Long Sword at the beginning of the game. That doesn't work well :D - Reorganized numbering scheme and overall layout to make things a bit clearer - Fixed some obvious grammatical mistakes and word omissions + Version 1.0 - First release. Only contains information for Human SCC and a lot of Mutant- and Monster-bashing.