Oh, brilliant Square...
May 03, 2011

So I've been playing Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. I'm sure you've heard me grumble about it here and there. My main complaint is the astounding level of rehash. At one point near the end they run out of FFIV bosses to throw at you and start tossing bosses from other FF games out, like Death Gaze (formerly Doomgaze) from FFVI.

This guy is a random encounter in a room full of boss-like enemies. The only way to keep from running out of provisions (X-Potions, HI-Potions and Phoenix Downs) is to have a white magic user cast Teleport and get out of those battles on the double. Meeting Death Gaze means you get a short amount of time to pummel his undead ass before he retreats. Mostly he'll cast Death on a couple characters and run away laughing, usually after long bouts of not finding him. If he runs away, his HP won't replenish, but it will if you leave the floor he's on. This leaves you unable to travel out and restock, and you basically have to fight him in one sitting.

Most sources indicate his HP being at 120,000, though some people have even reported doing about 250,000 before winning. I decided to use the calculator on my phone to figure out my total damage.

120K...250K...300K... I eventually ran out of MP and restoration items. My Ethers and Dry Ethers ran low, and I even used a few Elixirs. Most rational gamers would have given up after 300K. Sadly, I'm not a rational gamer. I'm fucking Ahab.

Long after I had given up and thought I'd just see for shits and grins how long I'd last, Kain landed one last Jump on old DG.

He did the deed. Death Gaze bit the big one. You know what my final tally was? 542,848 damage, give or take maybe a few hundred.

My theory, and probably one someone else brought up: his HP randomizes in every new game.

But think about this now. Does any of this actually sound fun? Who thought it would be a good idea to stick a boss with random HP that could be higher than 500K as a random battle amidst tough ass enemies? Who ever thought that sitting here for nearly two hours and hunting down one boss would be enticing or exciting? This parallels being stuck in big city traffic or waiting at the DMV.

This is yet another of the many qualms, both minor and major, I have against The After Years. I won't say it's completely horrible, because there are some good points about it. But this is the final piece of evidence that Square has lost their edge. They implement ideas without much thought or care, and they rehash ad nauseum. When they don't rehash, they create garbage experimental titles. Only now and then do they surprise us anymore.

I almost rage quit the game because of this nonsense, but I also have remind myself: it's my own fault I kept going after 300K damage. Hopefully I can beat this game soon, review it and forget it even exists.

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jerec jerec - May 03, 2011 (04:19 AM)
I refused to buy FFIV again. Looks like I made the right choice.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - May 03, 2011 (04:21 AM)
That's basically all After Years is. FFIV remixed. Same bosses, same dungeons, maybe a few new areas. You get to revisit the Underground Waterway....five fucking times. You fight OctoMammoth twice. TWICE.
overdrive overdrive - May 03, 2011 (11:39 AM)
That's the impression I got about After Years. A complete rehash of IV with bosses from other old FF games thrown in to give you the longest boss rush of any game ever. That doesn't make my heart race with excitement.
CoarseDragon CoarseDragon - May 03, 2011 (12:00 PM)
Does he still only do Level 5 death? He (or it) is only supposed to have 165K hit points. Are you sure you are not healing Deathgaze by mistake? What happens when you use a Phoenix Downs? I just got the game myself so I have yet to start it, just going off memory.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - May 03, 2011 (12:15 PM)
I'm absolutely sure I wasn't healing him. I'm not the only one who's complained about him not dying after the appointed amount, and there has been a little debate on his HP over at GF.

As for L5 Death, no, he uses standard Death now, but hits with it infrequently. He actually starts off the battle using Death against your whole group. At most he'd kill off two people, and for me it was usually the same two: Golbez and Rydia.
CoarseDragon CoarseDragon - May 03, 2011 (12:23 PM)
Have you ever beaten him? I wonder if there could be a bug that he regens hit points when he is not supposed to.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - May 03, 2011 (12:51 PM)
Yeah, that's what I did. I used my phone's calculator to add up the total damage. I think it might be a bug. I also never left the floor when I beat him, so I know that wasn't it.
CoarseDragon CoarseDragon - May 03, 2011 (01:05 PM)
That's to bad. I just hope I don't run into that. BTW did you do a full install to the memory stick? How does the game run?
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - May 03, 2011 (05:58 PM)
I installed the full thing to my Wii's harddrive. It loads and runs wonderfully. The transition from screen to battle and back is quick and smooth. I was astounded at first how quickly it moves.

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