Once again: since the Four Warriors of Light in Final Fantasy have zero personality, I've borrowed characters from another very old game. (Whose main character's default name, "Ryu," I played as "Spoo.")
Rei: Hey, guys. Hold up. We need to talk.
Nina: What's up, Rei?
Rei: Well, it's like this. You've got some healing magic now, and Momo's got her artillery--
Momo: I SHALL THUNDARA YOUR SORRY SAHAGIN FISHBUTT!
Rei: Right. And Spoo's buff and all, so he don't need magic. But I'm a Thief. And a thief's got needs.
Nina: Haven't we found enough treasure in the last dungeon crawl to keep you happy?
Rei: Well, sure, if you consider weapons we already bought in the last Elfheim garage sale to be worth an hour of slogging through undead crap. But I've got a job to do.
Momo: Steal stuff.
Nina: Okay, okay. But this is one of those early Final Fantasy games. We don't start unlocking the good skills until we restore the first Crystal.
Rei: Good skills? You mean like 'turn all undead to powder'?
Nina: *prim* Would you rather I left them to you and Spoo?
Momo: NEVER FEAR! I'LL ROAST THEM WITH THE ALMIGHTY POWER OF FIRA!
Spoo: *dives for cover*
Rei: I'm just sayin'.
Nina: Patience, Rei. We've got to be getting close to the first Crystal. We're out of the kiddie pool part of the map. I'm sure you'll acquire a Steal ability soon.
Rei: Hope you're right, princess.
Final Fantasy I, Episode III: "Well, 6hit."
With thanks to moogle_university for inspiring this playthrough.
We rejoin our heroes as they sail through the canal to explore new frontiers!
Rei: We have the whole entire world map to explore, and you head STRAIGHT FOR THE WHIRLPOOL?!
Nina: Maybe it wasn't a good idea to give Momo the helm.
Momo: Gotta be somethin' good over here!
"Yipes, people!" says the mermaid inside. Then...
Rei: Mermaids?! Shucks, we should let Momo steer more often...
Nina: Bit of dead end here, if you ask me.
Momo: ♫ In the laaaaand where I was born...♪
Spoo: *covertly penning letter to Prince Elf-boy*
As the Mermaid Spa & Resort is indeed a dead end for the moment, we head to the first town with a port...
Rei: They're saying a vampire in a nearby cave made the ground rot. Just how exactly does dirt rot, anyway? And how does a vampire suck earth?
Momo: Vincent the Vegetable Vampire?
Nina: Spoo, stop reading all the headstones. No more crossover burials here, I promise.
Spoo: .oO (Are Wedge and Biggs here?)
Wandering out onto the world map...
Spoo: *hunts for chocobos in the woods*
Rei: Sorry, Spoo. Wrong game. You shouldn't take everything Bibi tells you seriously.
Momo: Bradygameguide in a Bikini, that gal who gives hints in Cornelia Village.
Wandering around in the marshes...
Rei: Want to steal stuffs. *sulks*
Nina: Ho, hum, another mob of undead to turn to powder. *POOF*
Momo: I coulda taken 'em.
Several dozen undead mobs later, we discover the problem with Paralysis...
Rei: .oO(OH SHI****)
Nina: .oO(Aim at the UNDEAD, Momo! The UNDEAD!)
Momo: BOOM BANG SMASH FIREBALLS FROM ABOVE!
Miraculously escaping THAT little debacle, we come upon a Giant's Cave...
Rei: Treasure, maybe?
Nina: Or getting ass-handage. I don't think we should go in.
Momo: I'll protect y'all, kids!
Nina: Roadblock notwithstanding, he's quite polite for a giant.
Momo: Tellin' me. Shouldn't this be a boss battle?
Rei: Can't I just pick his pockets...er...butt...er...nevermind....
After endless wanderings through monster-infested swamps, we find the cave where the reputed vampire is said to be...sucking...dirt...
Rei: I'm getting major nostalgia for our old camping trips.
Nina: What, you're missing swampy, wet sleeping bags?
Momo: Well, at least it's a tent this time.
Spoo: *adds finishing touches to love letter*
Inside Cave of Earth (i.e. "Terra Cave")...
Momo: You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
Nina: STOP THAT.
Rei: We're close to that steal-ability-skill-giving-crystal now, right?
Rei: There's gotta be SOME kind of treasure at the end of this tunnel with giants at every step, right?
Nina: *15 giant battles later* We're right back at the entrance. I think I may kill the game designers.
Momo: Twisty little passages. Told ya.
Spoo: *twirls sword*
Nina: ANOTHER KEE BAT SO ADORABLE!
Rei: It's be a lot MORE adorable if the durned things didn't keep blocking doorways! Shoo! Scram!
Momo: I wonder if she'd still think they were adorable if they had names like "Redmaw." [Answer: yes.]
Spoo: *has a bad feeling about this*
Rei: Why do villains always have corny accents?
Nina: Nuuuuuuuoooh it's an evil Kee Bat!
Momo: BLOW IT UP!
Spoo: *tries to remember how long it's been since we passed around the potions*
Rei: Yeah, yeah. Finish gloating so we can get to the Crystal.
Nina: Mere mortals who can TURN UNDEAD TO POWDER, you mean?
Momo: That's the spirit, Nina!
As we finish wiping floor with vampire in less than 2 rounds...
Rei: You were saying?
Nina: Mebbe we overleveled a tad while bumbling around in the swamps.
Momo: Don't gloat. If this were the original NES version of FFI, we'd be dead fifty times over by now.
Spoo: *hopes news of vampire-slaying prowess gets back to Prince*
In the tunnel behind the vampire's lair...
Rei: Dammit, let us through! I gotta get to that crystal whoosit.
Nina: Odd. I'd expect that "Star Ruby" key item we ransacked off the vampire's body to open the seal.
Momo: Didn't one of the Melba Toast villagers say that Giant was a gem collector?
Spoo: *thinks we should bring Ruby to prince*
Back in Melmond Village...
Rei: Hey, at least the ground's green now instead of brown. That's progress, right?
Nina: Great. I sense another fetch quest.
Momo: Or I could just try wiring the Ruby to the crystals we've been toting around, and...
Spoo: *starts backing away*
We stop off in Melmond's magic shops to buff up Nina and Momo...
Rei: *whines* When am I gonna get "Steal"?
Momo: FIRAGA! I HAVE FIRAGA! BOOM TIME!
Nina: Oh, dear...
Back in the Giant's Cave...
Rei: Earth Crystal baby, here I come!
Nina: Rei, it might not be here...
Momo: I bet this is where the airship is buried! Come on, everyone!
Through the tunnel and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go...
Rei: Oh, great. We gotta get advice from some old windbag, and then we go find the crystal.
Momo: Betcha the sage's name is Cid!
Nina: You've been chatting with Bibi again, haven't you?
SADDA THE SAGE: "So you are the ones who defeated the vampire, are you?"
Rei: Now you tell us. We gotta slog all the way back?
Nina: Chin up, Rei. First crystal's in sight.
Momo: You don't happen to own an airship, old man, do ya?
Spoo: .oO(Sad is right.)
Armed with the Earth Rod which unlocks the Earth Cave's Seal, we head off to meet our Destiny. Far below the vampire's lair, we find...
Rei: Found the Earth Crystal!
Nina: Found the boss battle.
Momo: I HAVE FIRAGA AND I'M NOT AFRAID TO USE IT!
Spoo: *strikes a pose*
Nina: And I have Diaga. *bats eyelashes*
Rei: Nice one, Nina.
Momo: Hey, I whittled 'im down for you!
Spoo places one of our party's four spark plugs mini-crystals on the big crystal's altar...
Rei: Earth Crystal restored! Now give us the skillz, baby!
Nina: *worried* Uh, Rei, do you feel any different?
Momo: Maybe we gotta step on that glyph thing at the back?
Nina: A teleport pad?
Momo: Uh... I hated to mention it before, but Bibi said... she said something about there being no Skill Ink in this game. So maybe... Thieves...don't steal in FFI?
Spoo: *offers Rei hanky*
Rei invents a new curse word...
Rei: 6hit! 6hit! 6HIT! 6HIT! 6HIT! 6HIT!
Nina: See? You've got thief skills... you're really fast and do even more damage than Spoo!
Momo: With the best sword in the party...
Spoo: .oO(Which looks like a Cactuar with sunburn... or something worse...)
Rei: *bawling* BIBI! Get your bikini clad butt over here and 'splain this thing to me!
Momo: *whispering* Nina, I can't believe you had us sail all the way back to Cornelia Village just to rest at the cheap Inn.
Nina: *primly* And restock our potions and supplies.
Spoo: .oO(And mail a tea invite to the Prince!)
Later, outside a cave northwest of Cornelia Village...
Rei: So, I've had a think. Remember way back at the beginning, when we were blundering around exploring? We entered this here "Earthgift Shrine," only it was blocked off. Now that we've fixed the Earth Crystal, the cave's opened, so mebbe we can get the "Earthgift." Whatever the heck that is.
Momo: Monsters? Hey, I'm all for it!
Screencap taken about 5 seconds before Abyss Wyrms KO'd entire party...
Rei: The fuck is a desert doin' inside a cave?
Nina: It's almost like old times, isn't it, Spoo? Remember the Desert of Death?
Momo: Where's that dratted goat-camel-thing to lead us out of here?
After party is devoured by Abyss Wyrms, we wake up groggily at the cave entrance and try again...
Rei: Well, don't that just beat all. Now the desert's turned into a purple forest with a buttload of spiders and such.
Nina: Rei, maybe we should just...give up on this place for now?
Momo: Nah, lots to explore in here! It's like a TARDIS crossed with a holodeck!
Spoo: *stares pensively at gravestone*
Eventually, we find a lower level with four ominous doors. Within...
Rei: 'Bout time. Got any skills I can buy off ya?
Nina: Potions, everyone!
Momo: BOOM TIME!
Spoo: *draws sword with acrobatic hair flip*
Rei: Well, 6hit.
Once again, the party wakes up groggily back at the entrance...
Rei: Don't this just beat all?
Rei: No, I'm good. Look, I'm sorry I led you folks in there. I got so fixed on this skillz business that I forgot... there's a whole world to explore! Other coasts to pillage! More dungeons to crawl! And mebbe Melbourne Village will give us some kind o' reward for fixing the Earth Crystal!
Nina: Now you're talking!
Momo: Back to the ship! I'll steer us a course!
Spoo: .oO (Can't we stop off in Elfheim first?)
STAY TUNED for the next episode! There's three crystals to go, and lots more plot in Final Fantasy Land!
UPDATE: Part 4 is up! Go here to discover whether Spoo will EVER score with the prince!
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