One of my fellow students at the music institute in Aalborg introduced me to Final Fantasy and thus to JRPGs in general. I distinctly remember him summoning Bahamut ZERO, flying through space and unleashing a ridiculously powerful attack on some unknowing critter. I was very impressed with the scope and graphics of the game, and later tried playing it myself. I didn't really know was I was getting into.
When Sephiroth and Cloud was running around together, I was very happy, he was an extremely cool and powerful dude, and everything seemed right with the world. Obviously, I hadn't payed much attention to the story.
I have installed FF7 on my PSP, and played through the intro sequence. It is certainly a sharp looking 1997 game, especially the backgrounds.
Damn, Cloud is such a douchebag.
Tried transferring a save game from my PSP to the pSX emulator using MemcardRex 1.7, which totally works, but apparently not the other way around. So for now, it is a one-way process, where I could finish the game on a Windows-based emulator.
Played FF7 while waiting for my laundry at Aladdin's Møntvask, played through the whole dumb sequence of Cloud dressing up like a girl and reached the Train Graveyard. It's funny, I can still remember all of this stuff, even though I didn't play the game for 16 years...
OK, enough for today, I rescued Aeris and Red XIII (the lion thing) and reached Kalm.
I finished watching Sephiroth's backstory and his rapid descent into madness... Sephiroth! Why would you burn the village? Why?
Rode a Chocobo and reached Junon. Actually fell asleep while playing, should probably stop now...
That marching minigame was the worst. There is exactly one solution that works, nothing is explained, and you just retry over and over. Don't they test Final Fantasy games? Someone should have removed this crap from the game.
Hmm, you level up your Materia, including your Summons, by attaching them to equipment and earning AP by killing enemies. AP is multiplied by equipment Growth value. Very sofisticated.
Cosmo Canyon has the 'Holographic Star Map' trope? This game has it all.
The story of Barret's dark counterpart, Dyne, is really depressing and violent, ending with his suicide. FF swings between stupid fun and sinister melodrama.
I defeated Gi Nittak, the weird American Indian ghost thing...
My first Game Over ... at the hands of the Materia Keeper.
Yes, beat the Materia Keeper. Using strategy!
21 hours played so far! Surely, there is something special about this game...
The puzzle in Shinra Mansion is super annoying! Someone thought it was a good idea to have random encounters during puzzle solving. Bad game designer! Bad! Anyway, I checked a FAQ for this, because I didn't really have a lot of confidence in the Final Fantasy team designing good puzzles. And indeed, the puzzle is overly obscure and poorly explained; you have to find a tiny item to get hints, such as my favourite: 'Behind the Ivory's short of tea and ray'. I was considering the concept of a wood author writing about a tea party with a ray. Or maybe a guy called Ray. As it turned out, I was completely wrong. Of course, it means on the piano. Silly me.
After a million random encounters in Shinra Mansion, I'm a much higher level, and finally have the elements of the puzzle ready. It took some random exploration to figure out that 'the box with the most oxygen' was a box in a room with some plants, the process of elimination to map a sequence of movements onto the layout of the building, because I couldn't hear some 'creek in the floor', and consulting a FAQ yet again to find out that the three clues presented hid an invisible menu item containing the fourth clue...
The escape in the Tiny Bronco was great. A plane that was immediately shot down and turned into a boat. :)
Accomplished Completed disc 1.
After the traitor Caith Sith sacrificed himself and immediately reincarnated, Cloud being mind controlled, Aerith getting brutally stabbed by Sephiroth, the worst snowboarding minigame ever, a lot of mountain climbing, I have reached the Whirlwind Maze.
Neo Bahamut is cool! I laughed out loud of the over-the-top-ness of the animation.
Cloud is a clone of Sephiroth based on Tifa's memories? Holy Moses!
To pass the time during a trip to Bagsværd, I continued FF7, and it turned out jumped right into one of the big climaxes of the story; the resurrection of Sephiroth, unleashing the creature Weapon, its battle against Shinra forces at Junon, and my party getting control of the airship Highwind. I played on the train, walking through the empty streets, the train back, walking through the train station, in the Metro, walking through Christianshavn, and up the stairs to my place. Flying across the world map is pretty awesome.
I'm doing a little travel planning; now that I found Cloud in Mideel, I'm off to Mt. Corel, Fort Condor, back to Mideel, Junon, Rocket Town, Cosmo Canyon, Forgotten City, and Midgar. At this point I should be done with disc 2.
Finished Fort Condor without really doing anything except fighting a single enemy, and returned to Mideel, where Tifa is inside Cloud's acid trip trying to make sense of everything...
While traveling from Nantes, France back to Copenhagen after a great audiovisual performance with Sune, I played some FF7 on my PSP. Ironically, while my flights were smooth and uneventful, I ran all over Junon looking for the airport and couldn't find it. The lack of target indicators in FF7 goes poorly with my exceptional lack of direction...
I now have Bahamut ZERO. It's like it's 1997 again. :)
completed the game.
The last couple of battles weren't too bad. I played on my PSP on a train ride from Aalborg to Copenhagen. The final battle with Sephiroth was as uninteresting gameplay-wise as the rest of the game, I just brute forced it and used all my important items (e.g. Megaelexir) in the process. The final battles were very impressive graphically, and Sephiroth's Supernova attack was really something to see. The attack methodically destroys the whole solar system, and he did it like three times! Also, the operatic 'Sephiroth!' music track was great! And after that, an expensive looking cutscene, then end credits, followed by a little extra happy scene with Red XII and some other lion things running around in nature. And finally, a star field and some music, and no way to quit out of it except turning the game off.
I tested recording directly in Mednafen. The output has an anamorphic pixel ratio of 4:1, so I rescale height with 4, to get square pixels and 4 times upscaling to around 2650x1920 for better quality on YouTube.
After playing a bit of the remake, I wanted to compare to the original. The tiny 3D models have a lot of charm to them, and the pre-rendered cutscenes look amazing. However, the battle system is completely uninteresting during the early parts.