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MunsterJujus
2011-12-11, 07:19 PM
I've gone a little stir crazy studying for finals so I turned to my favorite time waster Final Fantasy, specifically FF6. I've been using Strago a lot and I had an odd realization: I cannot think of a Blue Mage style character/magic system outside of the FF verse.

I would love to play, read, watch more Blue Mage-ish stuff but can't find anything on them. Does anyone in the playground have a book/movie/manga/video game that has a magic system similar to Strago's?

Bonus Points/Request: Anyone have any pictures of a Blue Mage in action? I.E. betting blasted by and absorbing a monster power; that or using a monster power in the middle of combat?

The reason for these odd requests, on top of general interests, is because I'm thinking of writing a story/world using the same basic concept, but I want more information/research before I start.

Thanks Guys.

nyarlathotep
2011-12-11, 07:28 PM
Dementists from magic the gathering are rather like blue mages. Most of they information on them is the novelization of Torment. Basic gist is that thy can recreate monsters that they have fought, seen frequently, or eaten using mental energy.

Trixie
2011-12-11, 07:36 PM
Sharingan users from Naruto? The only thing that comes to mind, really. Maybe some D&D monsters, too.

Mewtarthio
2011-12-11, 07:51 PM
There's also The Exile from KotOR II, to a limited extent.

The Exile turns out to be a sort of psychic vampire: She's a wound in the Force that subconsciously absorbs the power of those who surround her. You don't actually get to steal your enemies' power (though that is the explanation for why you get stronger from fighting things), but there's a sort of Blue Magic that happens if you go the Dark Side route: You learn the lightsaber techniques of the Jedi Masters you fight as they use them against you, much to their horror.

Soras Teva Gee
2011-12-11, 08:10 PM
Because copying the abilities of others is a ridiculously overpowered plot device once separated from the arbitrary nature of gameplay mechanics. What possible basis do you have for the classic "I can learn some ablities but not all of them" of Blue Mages given that they are a completely eclectic blend of powers.

And if you don't have that arbitrary limitation you suddenly get really powerful characters, take Rogue from the X-men who in her first appearance took out several big name Avengers all on her own and she's perhaps a mild example.

Nerd-o-rama
2011-12-11, 08:36 PM
Taskmaster (http://marvel.com/universe/Taskmaster)? And other mimic superheroes? Few of them are magical, though.

tribble
2011-12-11, 08:40 PM
"Stealing powers" doesn't seem to lend itself very well to heroism, nor to being the BBEG. Most you can probably hope for is antagonist of the week.

VanBuren
2011-12-11, 09:50 PM
Peter Petrelli from Heroes? Of course, that's probably closer to Mega Manning.

Traab
2011-12-11, 09:55 PM
Sharingan users from Naruto? The only thing that comes to mind, really. Maybe some D&D monsters, too.

Id say not so much this, because blue mages tend to copy a unique ability from each monster, generally its something noone else can use. Id compare it to copying a special bloodline technique like hakus ice mirrors for example, or a shinra tensei from Pein. Not some generic ability that anyone could learn with a little practice and knowledge. Plus, they just have to see the technique, not be attacked with it, to copy it. But overall they are definitely close.

Lamech
2011-12-11, 10:11 PM
Remember Peter Petrelli from Heroes? He's why we can't have blue mages.

Nerd-o-rama
2011-12-11, 10:43 PM
Peter Petrelli from Heroes? Of course, that's probably closer to Mega Manning.

No, Sylar was Mega Man. Peter was a blue mage. Or cartoon Mega Man I guess.

Wait...

Blue Bomber
Blue Mage

Oh ****.

TheThan
2011-12-11, 11:31 PM
I was watching an anime called Needless (its on hulu if you’re interested). The main character is exactly this. His power is to copy other people’s powers.

Mato
2011-12-12, 12:33 AM
Having to be hit to learn an ability simply appears more often (V, VII, XI, TA/TA2) but in no way is the only trait. For example, FFIX's style of Blue Mage would include the pink puffball Kirby and Sylar from Heroes.

Here is a small list.
FFVI: You Lored the creature (Strago).
FFVIII: You used an item (Quistis).
FFIX: You beat the enemy pokemon capture style (Quina).
FFX: You attacked the enemy (Kimahri).

By my own definitions I consider a Blue Mage to be the most powerful form of mimicry as it has a permanently learned aspect. Like Mimic is the only other FF class that copies stuff but always the last action and forgets it. The drain archer types such as Rogue only gain the traits for a short time.

Which to me makes Megaman the first video game Blue Mage. And why not? The boss certainly used the attack on you well enough, you just have a delay in using it for your self. The beat your enemy to learn his ability is the most widely used aspect of mimicry too, it even makes appearances in real life mythology.

erikun
2011-12-12, 12:56 AM
Blue Mages appeared in FFV, FFVI (Strago), FFVII (Matra Magic), FFVIII (Quistis), FFXI (Quina), FFX (Kimahri), FFX-2 (Gun Mage), FFXI, FFTA, and FFTA2.

Mega Man and Kirby are very Bluemage-like, stealing abilities from enemies and using them on their own. Kirby is more a temporary thing, while Mega Man only steals boss abilities. The most recent game, Mega Man ZX Advent for the DS, has you actually turn into the bosses.

Breath of Fire 3 might be exactly what you are looking for. That game has a very Bluemage system by default, for every character. You can have a character "Look" in battle rather than attacking, and obtain moves if a monster uses them at that time. You can also pen the abilities into a book in camp, and give them to other characters. The main difference is that, apparently, not every character can learn every ability available, or at least not learn it directly through Look.

The Sharingan from Naruto is basically exactly this; see a technique, learn how to copy it.


There are also a ton of anime with mimic-master or super-genius characters that can learn an ability and use it perfectly afterwards - typically the badguys of the current arc. Depending on how flexible you want the definition to be, something like E.V.O.: Search for Eden (SNES) where you can eat stuff and transform into it might be what you have in mind.

thubby
2011-12-12, 03:28 AM
it makes little to no sense in most magic systems.

Killer Angel
2011-12-12, 03:38 AM
Papa smurf!

ehy, it's blue and it's a magician... :smalltongue:

Cespenar
2011-12-12, 04:36 AM
No, Sylar was Mega Man. Peter was a blue mage. Or cartoon Mega Man I guess.

Wait...

Blue Bomber
Blue Mage

Oh ****.

What have you done? The masses are not ready for such knowledge!

Good catch, by the way.

The Succubus
2011-12-12, 04:57 AM
I always enjoyed playing Blue Mages in the FF games (also, you missed the Enemy Skill materia in FFVII :smallwink:) but oddly enough, on the few occasions where there's been an actual mimic class (Gogo and Gavin from FF VI spring to mind and the Mimic shard hidden away in FF V) I rarely play them. I think it's because while the Blue Mage spells are a weird and eclectic bunch of abilities, the actual monsters you get them from are weak. After all, if they were strong, you wouldn't be alive for you to use new abilities in most cases. (Notable exceptions include Omega in FF X and Shadow Flare from Ultima Weapons in FF VII).

I play blue decks a lot in Magic as well - it's probably just something that appeals in using an opponents own skills right back at them.

Trixie
2011-12-12, 05:58 AM
Breath of Fire 3 might be exactly what you are looking for. That game has a very Bluemage system by default, for every character. You can have a character "Look" in battle rather than attacking, and obtain moves if a monster uses them at that time. You can also pen the abilities into a book in camp, and give them to other characters. The main difference is that, apparently, not every character can learn every ability available, or at least not learn it directly through Look.

I don't know about BoF III, but BoF IV indeed has such mechanic, and you can learn a lot of moves from even the strongest monsters, more, you can copy dragon forms of dragons you encounter during your journey, or more accurately, as your character is a part-dragon, too, mimic these or ask other dragons to teach you how to use them, and use these powers too.

Tengu_temp
2011-12-12, 06:07 AM
No, Sylar was Mega Man. Peter was a blue mage. Or cartoon Mega Man I guess.

Mandatory. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7dSJN5LgsE)

Prime32
2011-12-12, 07:15 AM
Also mandatory - links to TVTropes
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MegaManning

DiscipleofBob
2011-12-12, 09:17 AM
So here's an example that sort of fits the bill.

I watched the first few episodes of YuGiOh! ZEXAL on Hulu, and the main character, Yuma, usually ends up taking the key monster cards from the decks of those he's beaten. The way it's explained in the show that he has to collect all the Number cards that are possessing people. They're the memory fragments of his spirit buddy who's actually competent at dueling compared to him, and Yuma has to collect them in order to restore his spirit buddy's memory and somehow save the world.

Psyren
2011-12-12, 11:27 AM
No, Sylar was Mega Man. Peter was a blue mage. Or cartoon Mega Man I guess.

Wait...

Blue Bomber
Blue Mage

Oh ****.

This, this, this.

(And I suddenly have an intensely disturbing image of Megaman poring over the shattered circuit "brains" of Wiley's creations...)

Nerd-o-rama
2011-12-12, 12:26 PM
This, this, this.

(And I suddenly have an intensely disturbing image of Megaman poring over the shattered circuit "brains" of Wiley's creations...)

Well how in the heck did you think it worked? Plug and play?

The Succubus
2011-12-12, 12:47 PM
Well how in the heck did you think it worked? Plug and play?

That's set off a train of thought in my head - Zombie Blue Mages. Acquiring powers by nomming brainz.

VanBuren
2011-12-12, 03:48 PM
That's set off a train of thought in my head - Zombie Blue Mages. Acquiring powers by nomming brainz.

"Are you going to eat it?"

"Eat your brain? Cut Man, that's disgusting."

Psyren
2011-12-12, 04:10 PM
That's set off a train of thought in my head - Zombie Blue Mages. Acquiring powers by nomming brainz.

You don't need to be a zombie for that; ask any Illithid Savant.

H Birchgrove
2011-12-12, 06:35 PM
Taskmaster (http://marvel.com/universe/Taskmaster)? And other mimic superheroes? Few of them are magical, though.

What about Rogue? Not magic, but I assume she's among the most well-known (among readers and viewers anyway).

Mewtarthio
2011-12-12, 07:14 PM
What about Rogue? Not magic, but I assume she's among the most well-known (among readers and viewers anyway).

The thing about Blue Mages is they retain their powers. Rogue steals abilities temporarily, while Sylar gets them forever.

TheThan
2011-12-12, 09:01 PM
I consider Rogue (from Xmen fame) as more a vampire. as she doesn't just copy their powers, she absorbs part of their consciousness and life essence. Which is sorta like a vampires' ability to suck blood. At least she doesn't have to do it to survive.

Lateral
2011-12-12, 09:08 PM
Bonus Points/Request: Anyone have any pictures of a Blue Mage in action? I.E. betting blasted by and absorbing a monster power; that or using a monster power in the middle of combat?

I can't believe (http://www.nuklearpower.com/2006/03/09/episode-670-gettin-tchaikovsky-wit-it/) nobody's mentioned this yet. (http://www.nuklearpower.com/2006/03/11/episode-671-kick-off/)

H Birchgrove
2011-12-13, 09:39 AM
The thing about Blue Mages is they retain their powers. Rogue steals abilities temporarily, while Sylar gets them forever.


I consider Rogue (from Xmen fame) as more a vampire. as she doesn't just copy their powers, she absorbs part of their consciousness and life essence. Which is sorta like a vampires' ability to suck blood. At least she doesn't have to do it to survive.
Good and interesting points, thanks. :smallsmile:

Psyren
2011-12-13, 09:52 AM
The thing about Blue Mages is they retain their powers. Rogue steals abilities temporarily, while Sylar gets them forever.

Rogue can get their powers permanently (at least until the next crisis/reboot/etc.) if she absorbs them completely/kills them. This is exactly what she did to Ms. Marvel.

And neither Sylar nor Rogue are Blue Mages. As you rightfully pointed out, they need to kill their victims to get their powers; this is Megamanning.

Peter Petrelli was a true Blue Mage.

Nerd-o-rama
2011-12-13, 09:56 AM
And neither Sylar nor Rogue are Blue Mages. As you rightfully pointed out, they need to kill their victims to get their powers; this is Megamanning.

The Blue Mages in Final Fantasy VIII and IX both needed to defeat a monster before using its powers: Quistis used items dropped from defeated enemies and Quina (wow I just noticed the who Qui* thing) apparently ate monsters.

Rogue is more like a vampire than anything, though.

Psyren
2011-12-13, 10:33 AM
The Blue Mages in Final Fantasy VIII and IX both needed to defeat a monster before using its powers: Quistis used items dropped from defeated enemies and Quina (wow I just noticed the who Qui* thing) apparently ate monsters.

Rogue is more like a vampire than anything, though.

In V and VI, you just needed to be hit with the attack; even running away after that still granted you the ability. Since V was the first one to have blue mages, I'll stand by my statement.

Nerd-o-rama
2011-12-13, 11:19 AM
In V and VI, you just needed to be hit with the attack; even running away after that still granted you the ability. Since V was the first one to have blue mages, I'll stand by my statement.

In that case, I must ask "Where are all the Blue Mages in PS1 Final Fantasies?" in keeping with the topic.

Psyren
2011-12-13, 01:37 PM
In that case, I must ask "Where are all the Blue Mages in PS1 Final Fantasies?" in keeping with the topic.

If you mean FFVII, recall that that game didn't actually have "mages" per se. Magic was represented by various Materia, and blue magic specifically correlated to the Enemy Skill materia.

So at least in that title, anybody could be a blue mage. (The sturdier characters were better at it obviously, since you had to eat the attack to learn it.)

I'm unfamiliar with later titles as I grew disillusioned with JRPGs by that point, but that's another topic.

Sotharsyl
2011-12-13, 02:09 PM
What about Rogue? Not magic, but I assume she's among the most well-known (among readers and viewers anyway).

There's also Prodigy (marvel.wikia.com/David_Alleyne_(Earth-616)) a sort of, sorry David, two bit Rogue not capable of absorbing anything but non super skills.
Also it's sure to show up here (http://powerlisting.wikia.com/wiki) along with a list of users.

DiscipleofBob
2011-12-13, 02:55 PM
There's also Prodigy (marvel.wikia.com/David_Alleyne_(Earth-616)) a sort of, sorry David, two bit Rogue not capable of absorbing anything but non super skills.
Also it's sure to show up here (http://powerlisting.wikia.com/wiki) along with a list of users.

Taskmaster also kind of fits under this category. Yes, he technically mimics the fighting styles of various superpeoples, but he does retain the ability to use those fighting styles for as long as he likes.

VanBuren
2011-12-13, 02:59 PM
If you mean FFVII, recall that that game didn't actually have "mages" per se. Magic was represented by various Materia, and blue magic specifically correlated to the Enemy Skill materia.

So at least in that title, anybody could be a blue mage. (The sturdier characters were better at it obviously, since you had to eat the attack to learn it.)

I'm unfamiliar with later titles as I grew disillusioned with JRPGs by that point, but that's another topic.

Actually, I don't think Nerd-o-Rama is referring to VII, but rather to this:


The Blue Mages in Final Fantasy VIII and IX both needed to defeat a monster before using its powers: Quistis used items dropped from defeated enemies and Quina (wow I just noticed the who Qui* thing) apparently ate monsters.

Rogue is more like a vampire than anything, though.

At the end of the day, Blue Mages are a form of Mega Manning. It's just that the exact mechanism, and whether or not the original user needs to be dead, depends on the work in question. At its core, it's all about copying the enemy's power(s).

erikun
2011-12-13, 09:19 PM
The Blue Mages in Final Fantasy VIII and IX both needed to defeat a monster before using its powers: Quistis used items dropped from defeated enemies and Quina (wow I just noticed the who Qui* thing) apparently ate monsters.

Rogue is more like a vampire than anything, though.
Side point, but I'm fairly sure that I learned a blue magic spell with Quistis, once, after battle by getting hit with it. It has been a long time and I didn't play FFVIII much, though, so I could be wrong.

Gnoman
2011-12-13, 09:29 PM
Nope. All of Quistis's limit breaks were learned by using the proper item. However, you had no need to fight a single battle to get most of them, as the items could be refined from cards.

Xefas
2011-12-13, 10:11 PM
There's a character in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories that is a bit like a blue mage. Its represented in a particularly funny (to me) way via the combat system.

In Chain of Memories, each of your attacks is represented by a little card token (even though the game is not a card game - its a 3rd person beat 'em up sort of thing), and you level up by adjusting your 'deck' with new cards (so, you start out with a whole stack of Generic Slash cards, but you can learn fire magic by putting some Shoot A Fireball cards in your deck).

This character mimics your powers by punching you so hard that it breaks the fourth wall, and your cards spill out of your deck onto the battlefield, and he picks them up off the ground and can use them against you, gaining a copy of your weapon and so on.

The Bushranger
2011-12-13, 10:17 PM
*looks at thread*

...it appears I have a very different meaning of "blue mage" than everybody else here...

Telonius
2011-12-13, 10:23 PM
*looks at thread*

...it appears I have a very different meaning of "blue mage" than everybody else here...

Final Fantasy, not Nymphology. :smallbiggrin:

Doomsday, maybe?

Mato
2011-12-14, 05:30 AM
In V and VI, you just needed to be hit with the attack; even running away after that still granted you the ability. Since V was the first one to have blue mages, I'll stand by my statement.
VI had Strago, Gau could even invoke a blue spell against an enemy from his Rage and Strago would [i]still[/b] learn the attack as it didn't matter if he was hit by it or not. It's kind of why I listed VI separate from FFV a few post back.

Although, I in hindsight I really should have excluded XI. They can learn by being hit yes, but they only have a chance of rather than always and for balance reasons there is a minimum level requirement to even learn in the first place. Further it's possible to be locked out of learning at all if you ask for help and unlike the rest of the games you can learn new spells with a little friendly "PvP" on the side. It's a totally different system opposed to the straight forward 100% learn chance where you can try to learn significantly more powerful spells than you normally have access too at lower levels.

KillianHawkeye
2011-12-14, 05:44 AM
Brave Fencer Musashi series had a similar system where Musashi could acquire a monster's special ability by absorbing them with his sword. In the first one he could only learn one ability at a time, but in the second one you could learn a lot and switch between them through the menu.



Then there is Dragonball Z's Majin Buu, who could copy any attack after only seeing it once. He could also absorb people to power up.

Kato
2011-12-14, 07:33 AM
Quistis used items dropped from defeated enemies and Quina (wow I just noticed the who Qui* thing) apparently ate monsters.


Wow, I never noticed either....


Hm.. really, I wouldn't differentiate between Blue Magic and MegaManning. At least not when it comes to 'killing your opponent' vs 'getting hit by the attack'. (Maybe when it comes to other things)
One of the imo more important features of blue magic opposed to other copying abilities is it's connection to monster skills, not some technique you copy from a human opponent.


Hm... to be honest, I have a kind of hard time to recall (many) instances outside of Final Fantasy games where Blue Magic comes into play... A few were mentioned... maybe Elfman from Fairy Tail? He has done it rarely but he does get his powers from enemies he fights at times.

Revlid
2011-12-14, 08:10 AM
Lunars from Exalted.

Fri
2011-12-14, 08:23 AM
Now for something completely different.

The digimons you train from the first digimon world game in psx (aka, the one good and creative but frustating game from all of psx' digimon world games) are practically blue mage.

One of the thing that's most frustrating in that game is how your digimons get techniques. They can only get techniques by being hit by enemy's technique that they can learn. For example, a fire digimon can be hit by say, a firebreath technique of an enemy and he have the chance to learn it. Practically blue mage.

And... Maribel the vampire from Wild Arms 2? She's also practically a blue mage, and learn skills by fighting enemies.

Psyren
2011-12-14, 09:12 AM
At the end of the day, Blue Mages are a form of Mega Manning. It's just that the exact mechanism, and whether or not the original user needs to be dead, depends on the work in question. At its core, it's all about copying the enemy's power(s).

I understand the trope is that general, but when you think about Megaman specifically, he only learns powers from enemies one way - by defeating/killing them.

A true blue mage - e.g. Strago, the FFV folks, Black Mage post-class-change - learns by observation and/or experience. Not only is this mechanically cooler, it also results in a richer gameplay experience; any party can kill a monster, but getting it to use its ability on you so you could learn it could end up being an actual puzzle.

Two nice examples from FFV:


Lv. 5 Doom: This blue spell would instantly kill anyone whose level was a multiple of 5 - including bosses. But to learn it, you had to get hit by it, and it hit everything on-screen when used; thus, if your party was all the same level, you'd either all escape (and not learn it) or all get hit (and game over.) Your only options therefore were to learn it while one member of the party was a different level than the others, or to wait until you had Life3, aka contingent resurrection.

Mighty Guard: This powerful blue spell cast Safe, Float and Shell on the entire party. But the monster that cast it would obviously only use it on himself. To learn it, you had to either capture that monster with a Beast Tamer, or dominate him with a powerful white mage's Charm spell or a Dancer's Temptation Tango.


So while I understand that "megamanning" is applied in blanket fashion to all power copying abilities, I don't consider what megaman does to be Blue Magic.

The Succubus
2011-12-14, 10:50 AM
I understand the trope is that general, but when you think about Megaman specifically, he only learns powers from enemies one way - by defeating/killing them.

A true blue mage - e.g. Strago, the FFV folks, Black Mage post-class-change - learns by observation and/or experience. Not only is this mechanically cooler, it also results in a richer gameplay experience; any party can kill a monster, but getting it to use its ability on you so you could learn it could end up being an actual puzzle.

Two nice examples from FFV:


Lv. 5 Doom: This blue spell would instantly kill anyone whose level was a multiple of 5 - including bosses. But to learn it, you had to get hit by it, and it hit everything on-screen when used; thus, if your party was all the same level, you'd either all escape (and not learn it) or all get hit (and game over.) Your only options therefore were to learn it while one member of the party was a different level than the others, or to wait until you had Life3, aka contingent resurrection.

Mighty Guard: This powerful blue spell cast Safe, Float and Shell on the entire party. But the monster that cast it would obviously only use it on himself. To learn it, you had to either capture that monster with a Beast Tamer, or dominate him with a powerful white mage's Charm spell or a Dancer's Temptation Tango.


So while I understand that "megamanning" is applied in blanket fashion to all power copying abilities, I don't consider what megaman does to be Blue Magic.

Mmmmm, it's this aspect that appeals to me about Blue Mages. Learn through observation, obtain through domination, destroy by repetition.

MunsterJujus
2011-12-14, 12:07 PM
I think to piggy back on what Psyren said, it the gaining of powers and abilities through observation and experience that most describes a true Blue Mage.

Would that mean that this page on TVTropes fit the idea better? Awesomeness By Analysis (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AwesomenessByAnalysis)

Love all the examples people are giving. Thanks guys you are awesome.

Cespenar
2011-12-14, 02:01 PM
Meh. The notion of learning the power as you get hit by it is a very cool one, but when it reaches the "farming monsters to get further powers" part as in most FF games, it loses any and all charm for me.

VanBuren
2011-12-14, 03:51 PM
I understand the trope is that general, but when you think about Megaman specifically, he only learns powers from enemies one way - by defeating/killing them.

A true blue mage - e.g. Strago, the FFV folks, Black Mage post-class-change - learns by observation and/or experience. Not only is this mechanically cooler, it also results in a richer gameplay experience; any party can kill a monster, but getting it to use its ability on you so you could learn it could end up being an actual puzzle.

Two nice examples from FFV:


Lv. 5 Doom: This blue spell would instantly kill anyone whose level was a multiple of 5 - including bosses. But to learn it, you had to get hit by it, and it hit everything on-screen when used; thus, if your party was all the same level, you'd either all escape (and not learn it) or all get hit (and game over.) Your only options therefore were to learn it while one member of the party was a different level than the others, or to wait until you had Life3, aka contingent resurrection.

Mighty Guard: This powerful blue spell cast Safe, Float and Shell on the entire party. But the monster that cast it would obviously only use it on himself. To learn it, you had to either capture that monster with a Beast Tamer, or dominate him with a powerful white mage's Charm spell or a Dancer's Temptation Tango.


So while I understand that "megamanning" is applied in blanket fashion to all power copying abilities, I don't consider what megaman does to be Blue Magic.

Eh, I always preferred how Quina had to eat his/her victims to learn.

Psyren
2011-12-14, 04:02 PM
Eh, I always preferred how Quina had to eat his/her victims to learn.

http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/kotaku/2009/05/kirby_gore.jpg

Yeah... no thanks.

DiscipleofBob
2011-12-14, 04:14 PM
Come to think of it, couldn't the Summoners of Final Fantasy Tactics learn summons by being blown up by them? I remember something along those lines being the only way to learn the final summon in the game.

Kato
2011-12-14, 04:18 PM
Come to think of it, couldn't the Summoners of Final Fantasy Tactics learn summons by being blown up by them? I remember something along those lines being the only way to learn the final summon in the game.

Yeah it was one way. I think there was also a small chance for any mage to learn a spell of their profession if it was high enough level. (like level 4 elemental spells)
And of course there also was REAL blue magic. But I never cared for that because I think you had to batch monsters to learn those.

Reluctance
2011-12-14, 04:47 PM
Peter Petrelli is why this is usually a bad trope in normal fiction. Being able to permanently pick up someone's power leads to either a villain, a climactic final confrontation, or a sue. Arbitrary amounts of power in an ongoing series gets silly for obvious reasons.

The best way to make it work in fiction would be the genius who can make sense of the magical/martial arts maneuvers he sees just from watching them. It tends to fail in a game with supers or highly flexible magic. Learning how to hit really, really, really hard when all forms of martial arts are various forms of hitting hard causes power creep, but that's not necessarily plotbreaking. Learning how to fly when you can already turn invisible and shoot lasers is option creep, and tends to buckle under its own weight.

Psyren
2011-12-14, 06:00 PM
Peter Petrelli is why this is usually a bad trope in normal fiction. Being able to permanently pick up someone's power leads to either a villain, a climactic final confrontation, or a sue. Arbitrary amounts of power in an ongoing series gets silly for obvious reasons.

To be fair, he got nerfed pretty hard not far in, to where he could only hold onto one power at a time.

And traditional, FF Blue Mages are held in check by only certain monster abilities being learnable. So you can't for instance learn Odin's Atom Edge or some other uber-boss ability. (Though some of them are pretty uber themselves.)

VanBuren
2011-12-14, 06:05 PM
To be fair, he got nerfed pretty hard not far in, to where he could only hold onto one power at a time.

And traditional, FF Blue Mages are held in check by only certain monster abilities being learnable. So you can't for instance learn Odin's Atom Edge or some other uber-boss ability. (Though some of them are pretty uber themselves.)

Ironically, he became more effective as a character after he was Nerfed.

Mewtarthio
2011-12-14, 07:01 PM
And traditional, FF Blue Mages are held in check by only certain monster abilities being learnable. So you can't for instance learn Odin's Atom Edge or some other uber-boss ability. (Though some of them are pretty uber themselves.)

Well, that starts to look pretty arbitrary and contrived. Sure, it works in a video game, but lots of things work in a video game that wouldn't work in other stories. You wouldn't read a fantasy novel about a guy running around alone in a ruined temple, pushing blocks to build a bridge to the next Life Extension Powerup, for instance.

Thufir
2011-12-14, 07:43 PM
To be fair, he got nerfed pretty hard not far in, to where he could only hold onto one power at a time.

About halfway through the full run of the show is "not far in"?

VanBuren
2011-12-14, 08:39 PM
About halfway through the full run of the show is "not far in"?

Yeah, I got bored so I did some number crunching. There were 77 episodes of Heroes. Of those 77 episodes*, Peter had his original ability (empathic mimicry) for 40 of those episodes, spent 7 episodes powerless and had his new power for the last 30 episodes of the series.

Speaking in terms of percentages, Peter had his original OP ability for ~52% of the series, is powerless for 9% of the show and only has his new ability for ~39%.

Being overly generous and rounding up, that still leaves us with about 48% combined versus 52%. So under no circumstances could we say that he was nerfed "early on".


*I am counting the episode where Peter loses his power because he only loses it at the end, and likewise I don't count the Volume 3 finale as having his new power because he only gets it in the last few minutes.


...

I need a hobby.

Mewtarthio
2011-12-14, 08:55 PM
Yeah, I got bored so I did some number crunching. There were 77 episodes of Heroes. Of those 77 episodes*, Peter had his original ability (empathic mimicry) for 40 of those episodes, spent 7 episodes powerless and had his new power for the last 30 episodes of the series.

Ah, but don't forget that, prior to his meeting with Claude late into Volume 1, Peter could only duplicate the powers of supers in his presence. He didn't learn he could retain those powers until Claude shoved him off a building and it turned out he still had Claire's regeneration.

Psyren
2011-12-14, 11:25 PM
About halfway through the full run of the show is "not far in"?

*shrugs*
I wasn't really counting, and it has no bearing on the point anyway. He got nerfed specifically to avoid the issue Reluctance described.


Well, that starts to look pretty arbitrary and contrived. Sure, it works in a video game, but lots of things work in a video game that wouldn't work in other stories. You wouldn't read a fantasy novel about a guy running around alone in a ruined temple, pushing blocks to build a bridge to the next Life Extension Powerup, for instance.

FF magic in general isn't very fleshed out, it's not like blue magi have a monopoly on that. Why do summons only appear long enough to do one thing and vanish? Why are status effects always useless except against enemies so weak that you don't need them? Why didn't they Phoenix Down Aeris? etc.

VanBuren
2011-12-15, 02:18 AM
Ah, but don't forget that, prior to his meeting with Claude late into Volume 1, Peter could only duplicate the powers of supers in his presence. He didn't learn he could retain those powers until Claude shoved him off a building and it turned out he still had Claire's regeneration.

Yes, but that was only his understanding of his power. He was always capable of it, like when he mimicked Issac's precognition unknowingly. That said, it only drops the amount of time he had the full capability of his power to... er... 27 episodes.

...

Touché.

KillianHawkeye
2011-12-15, 08:14 AM
Why didn't they Phoenix Down Aeris?

Because there's always been the tiny implication that getting KO'd in battle is not the same as dying. Lot's of characters in the history of Final Fantasy have been killed with no chance of returning, and Aeris wasn't the first. Anyway, sometimes people want to write a story about death, and they can't do that if death has no meaning.

Kato
2011-12-15, 08:33 AM
Why are status effects always useless except against enemies so weak that you don't need them?
Someone has no firm grasp on the mechanics of Final Fantasy... in FF II for example Mini and Toad are GAMEBREAKERS that even work on quite a few bosses.


Why didn't they Phoenix Down Aeris? etc.


Because there's always been the tiny implication that getting KO'd in battle is not the same as dying. Lot's of characters in the history of Final Fantasy have been killed with no chance of returning, and Aeris wasn't the first. Anyway, sometimes people want to write a story about death, and they can't do that if death has no meaning.
Well. there is and always will be Storyline/mechanic separation. Why are your overleveled heroes afraid and taken into custody by some weak guards? Why would one potion take up the same space 99 would? Really, argueing about something like that... but who would want a realistic video game to such an extent?
The old KO'd vs killed excuse serves well enough, I guess.

Nerd-o-rama
2011-12-15, 09:48 AM
Because there's always been the tiny implication that getting KO'd in battle is not the same as dying. Lot's of characters in the history of Final Fantasy have been killed with no chance of returning, and Aeris wasn't the first. Anyway, sometimes people want to write a story about death, and they can't do that if death has no meaning.

Galuf stayed dead despite several Phoenix Downs and Life 2's because he kept fighting at zero HP, and kept it up long enough for Ex-Death to deal dozens of times his max HP in damage.

That said, that wouldn't have really worked stylistically in FFVII, and it's easy to say from this example that "0 HP is not equal to dead, it's equal to unconscious from trauma and Galuf is just a badass who doesn't have time to bleed."

Mewtarthio
2011-12-15, 10:15 AM
Well. there is and always will be Storyline/mechanic separation. Why are your overleveled heroes afraid and taken into custody by some weak guards? Why would one potion take up the same space 99 would? Really, argueing about something like that... but who would want a realistic video game to such an extent?

Some gameplay/story segregation is fine. Nobody really cares how Link carries around all those toys or why he never seems to use the bathroom, for instance. At a certain point, though, it just becomes lazy storytelling. If your heroes have slaughtered hundreds of monsters several orders of magnitude more powerful than the city guards, then they simply should not get arrested. Likewise, I can accept that not every "hit" in the combat system translates to an actual hit in the story, but if your bad guys are chucking undodgable exploding meteors around in boss fights, it's tough to imagine a wimpy dagger killing the good guys in a cutscene.

KillianHawkeye
2011-12-15, 10:24 AM
Nobody really cares how Link carries around all those toys or why he never seems to use the bathroom, for instance.

We already know why Link never uses the bathroom. It's because that creepy guy living inside the one in Clock Town scarred him for life.

Psyren
2011-12-16, 10:08 AM
Because there's always been the tiny implication that getting KO'd in battle is not the same as dying. Lot's of characters in the history of Final Fantasy have been killed with no chance of returning, and Aeris wasn't the first. Anyway, sometimes people want to write a story about death, and they can't do that if death has no meaning.

No duh. It was a rhetorical question.


We already know why Link never uses the bathroom. It's because that creepy guy living inside the one in Clock Town scarred him for life.

Why didn't he trick Ganon into kicking a chicken?

The Succubus
2011-12-16, 10:11 AM
No duh. It was a rhetorical question.

Why didn't he trick Ganon into kicking a chicken?

Hehe - I saw a rather amusing video of Link with a portal gun doing exactly that....:smallamused:

Kobold-Bard
2011-12-16, 04:59 PM
Mmmmm, it's this aspect that appeals to me about Blue Mages. Learn through observation, obtain through domination, destroy by repetition.

You see to me, Blue Magic is the magical extension of complete laziness (which is why it appeals to me). Most Mages need to practise their craft, often going through trials of some sort to even get on the bottom rung of the magical ladder.

Blue Mages on the other hand just stand around & let enemies hit them with the spell or even just stand around watching enemies smack their teammates around, the Blue Mage getting more powerful without even being involved in any way. All they have to do is hang around the party & odds are they'll learn their spells without ever having to lift a finger.

Agrippa
2011-12-16, 06:33 PM
I've been thinking about it and in a way isn't Zack Fair (http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Zack_Fair) also a Blue Mage of sorts? Not just a standard "learn your enemies magical powers from studying or surviving them" type but also a Taskmaster-like martial mimic. Does that makes sense?

Mato
2011-12-18, 01:02 AM
Meh. The notion of learning the power as you get hit by it is a very cool one, but when it reaches the "farming monsters to get further powers" part as in most FF games, it loses any and all charm for me.You always farmed monsters of further powers. What do you think XP or AP is? In fact, you farmed certain monsters for either a higher XP or higher AP rate above the rest (such as cactuars in VIII). The difference is it normally only took one fight against the monster and you would have your new spell, comparatively you spent hours leveling up VII's materia to gain a few spells.

***

I realized no one mentioned Adam Blade. He can copy Needless powers by being hit with the attack or slamming his forehead against someone. To quote TVTropes
Mega Manning: Adam Blade's Fragment "Zero" Overcomes the "one fragment, one power" restriction by allowing him to memorize other fragments. Adam Arclight has an even stronger version of this ability, "Positive Feedback Zero", and is using it to become unbelievably powerful. And then there's Saten/Kannazuki.

Kato
2011-12-18, 09:52 AM
You always farmed monsters of further powers. What do you think XP or AP is? In fact, you farmed certain monsters for either a higher XP or higher AP rate above the rest (such as cactuars in VIII). The difference is it normally only took one fight against the monster and you would have your new spell, comparatively you spent hours leveling up VII's materia to gain a few spells.


Except in a good game you don't need to grind... like, at all.
Blue Mages... well, it depends on how hard it is to get a spell... many ways work, but some better than others.

Nerd-o-rama
2011-12-18, 10:35 AM
Except in a good game you don't need to grind... like, at all.

Since when are Final Fantasies good games?

Mato
2011-12-18, 04:50 PM
Except in a good game you don't need to grind... like, at all.
Blue Mages... well, it depends on how hard it is to get a spell... many ways work, but some better than others.Are you meaning all games with a level system are not good or games that implement a level system must be so over powered you have no real need to level anything up (see also force unleashed)?

You learn all the offensive spells by not being so powerful you murder them in one round. Mileage varies for the beneficial spells but they tend to be awesome. Like an example is any FF game with mass cure spells. If you have even a single reflect up then using mass cure on your team will also heal your opposing party. White Wind on the other hand ignores reflect and tends to be learned far sooner than spells like Cura meaning you can heal more while benefiting from immunity to black magic. Combined with Mightyguard's half dozen spell buffs per casting to keep everyone alive and a stock pile of Phoenix Downs you can often replace your White Mages with another damage based character.

Psyren
2011-12-18, 05:13 PM
FFV is even crazier as you can build your own classes. Like a Mimic with Blue magic or a Caller with Red Mage's Twinspell or a Dancing Ninja or a Samurai with Time Magic or a Swordmage with the Dragoon's Jump etc.

Starwulf
2011-12-18, 05:32 PM
I've gone a little stir crazy studying for finals so I turned to my favorite time waster Final Fantasy, specifically FF6. I've been using Strago a lot and I had an odd realization:



FFVI: You Lored the creature (Strago).


Are you guys using the japanese name for the character? FFVI(FF3 for the SNES), the only Blue Mage type character I remember, was Gau, the wild-kid you had to find in the wilds. Once you got him, he could jump on an enemy, ride it out of battle, and then come back with that monsters ability. I don't particularly remember any other character in FFVI that could be considered Blue Mage, though, I will admit, It has been many many years since I last played FFVI.

Kobold-Bard
2011-12-18, 05:41 PM
Are you guys using the japanese name for the character? FFVI(FF3 for the SNES), the only Blue Mage type character I remember, was Gau, the wild-kid you had to find in the wilds. Once you got him, he could jump on an enemy, ride it out of battle, and then come back with that monsters ability. I don't particularly remember any other character in FFVI that could be considered Blue Mage, though, I will admit, It has been many many years since I last played FFVI.

No there was an actual Blue Mage called Strago Magus (http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Strago_Magus). He's the old guy from Thamasa, his granddaughter is the little girl, Relm.

Psyren
2011-12-18, 05:47 PM
Are you guys using the japanese name for the character? FFVI(FF3 for the SNES), the only Blue Mage type character I remember, was Gau, the wild-kid you had to find in the wilds. Once you got him, he could jump on an enemy, ride it out of battle, and then come back with that monsters ability. I don't particularly remember any other character in FFVI that could be considered Blue Mage, though, I will admit, It has been many many years since I last played FFVI.

Strago (http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Strago_Magus) is the only canonical Blue Mage in FFVI.

Gau's Rage abilities are indeed similar to Blue magic, but you have little control over when he uses them. They are thus not "true" Blue magic.

Starwulf
2011-12-18, 06:04 PM
No there was an actual Blue Mage called Strago Magus (http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Strago_Magus). He's the old guy from Thamasa, his granddaughter is the little girl, Relm.

Ahh, ok, I remember who you're talking about, but the name still sounds unfamiliar >< It's apparently been far to long since I last played FFVI >< *Goes off to find his SNES cart*.

I think I much preferred Mogs dances in FFVI to any other characters special abilities. They were pretty unique, and it took some finagling to learn all of them in the early parts of the game(otherwise you had to wait until the 2nd half of the game to get them all. Pretty sure snow dance is one of them).

Mewtarthio
2011-12-18, 06:31 PM
Are you meaning all games with a level system are not good or games that implement a level system must be so over powered you have no real need to level anything up (see also force unleashed)?

There are non-grindy ways to include a level system. You could divorce leveling from fighting enemies entirely, giving rewards instead for completing quests or exploration (eg, in BioShock, you only gain ADAM by dealing with the Little Sisters). You could design the game so that players will end up strong enough to beat the game without really going out of the way, such that they'll only need to grind if they want to develop an alternate job/attack skill/what have you (eg anything by Bethesda, implemented with varying degrees of success). You could limit the player's growth such that the player will never exceed a particular level of strength depending on the story's progression, whether through a hard cap (FF XIII) or a soft one (any game that reduces XP rewards for higher level characters).

Tengu_temp
2011-12-18, 06:47 PM
Are you meaning all games with a level system are not good or games that implement a level system must be so over powered you have no real need to level anything up (see also force unleashed)?

Just because a game has a level system doesn't mean you have to grind in it. If it's well-designed then you get enough experience to beat the final boss just from the enemies/quests you encounter on the way.

Chrono Trigger is a good example of an RPG where you never have to grind. Actually, so is Final Fantasy 7, unless you desperately want all limit breaks for everyone and/or Knights of the Round. I'm pretty sure I lost a few IQ points from listening to that Chocobo racing music over and over.

hex0
2011-12-18, 06:55 PM
My all time favorite D&D character was a Qu (like Quina of FFIX) and a Blue Mage, actually.

There weren't many rules to the class. Basically, I could use a certain number of monster abilities I acquired if the DM didn't think it was overpowered for the level. I basically was a CON based sorcerer with half the spells known and use of any enemy ability I acquired for the other half. At first level I could use Filth Fever as a touch attack, for example, because I ate a dire rat. Later I could shoot Manticore needles and learned a few cleric spells from a cultist I ate. I guess I could re-write the rules...

There is Spellthief though. A temporary blue mage if you will.

GloatingSwine
2011-12-18, 06:56 PM
To be fair, he got nerfed pretty hard not far in, to where he could only hold onto one power at a time.

Peter was mostly held in check by being very very stupid.

He was alright when he had the Doctor following him around hitting him with a stick, and they should have retained that plot element.

Mato
2011-12-18, 11:46 PM
<snip> (eg, in BioShock, you only gain ADAM by dealing with the Little Sisters). You could design the game so that players will end up strong enough to beat the game without really going out of the way,</snip>

And this FPSRPG hardly has any RPG elements. Your character can use every gun, every plasmid, hack anything he likes, from the word go.


Actually, so is Final Fantasy 7, unless you desperately want all limit breaks for everyone and/or Knights of the Round. I'm pretty sure I lost a few IQ points from listening to that Chocobo racing music over and over.FFVIII as well, the real goal was to kill your teammates and forgo leveling until disc 3. Everything scaled by your level so if everyone was level 20 but you were using high level magic junctioned to your stats you were significantly over powered and the game is such a cake walk you never need to grind anything and in fact have been using Diablo's Encounter-None to maintain your position of power.

But all that goes back to what I mentioned before.

games that implement a level system must be so over powered you have no real need to level anything up (see also force unleashed).RPG centered games that seem to skip the grind don't, they are just so easy you don't need to level up and so you didn't notice it or they simply are not RPGs to begin with.

Traab
2011-12-19, 12:07 AM
Speaking of Gau, I never much cared for him, so i didnt experiment much, was there anything useful in his rage list you could use? I just recall most of his attacks being fairly weakish. While cyan is quadra slicing with his dual wielded swords that hit everything at once for max damage, gau is off doing random low damage to whatever the hell he felt like.

Mewtarthio
2011-12-19, 12:18 AM
RPG centered games that seem to skip the grind don't, they are just so easy you don't need to level up and so you didn't notice it or they simply are not RPGs to begin with.

Just how is grinding supposed to be a good thing? If the only challenge the game presents is "Your numbers are too small! Go push buttons for five hours until they are bigger!", I consider that a poorly-designed game. There should be solutions to every difficult fight besides "Come back at a higher level."

Making players grind does not make the game harder. It makes the game more boring.

Gnoman
2011-12-19, 12:19 AM
FFVIII as well, the real goal was to kill your teammates and forgo leveling until disc 3. Everything scaled by your level so if everyone was level 20 but you were using high level magic junctioned to your stats you were significantly over powered and the game is such a cake walk you never need to grind anything and in fact have been using Diablo's Encounter-None to maintain your position of power.


That's really, really unnecessary. Even with the level scaling, it's extremely easy to kill nearly any boss with one or two attacks (the super-secret optional ultimate boss needs as many as five) with only minimal knowledge of the system at any level. FFVIII is an extremely easy game.

erikun
2011-12-19, 12:26 AM
Speaking of Gau, I never much cared for him, so i didnt experiment much, was there anything useful in his rage list you could use? I just recall most of his attacks being fairly weakish. While cyan is quadra slicing with his dual wielded swords that hit everything at once for max damage, gau is off doing random low damage to whatever the hell he felt like.
Pearl Dragon was pretty good, throwing around high-damage holy magic that very little resisted. The shades from the Ghost Train could be learned and dealt some good damage early in the game. The motorcycle-things from Narche also did some pretty decent damage with good physical attacks.

I rarely used him, though, because he just didn't have a fight command. Scrolling through over a hundred options just to find the two or three decent choices was just not worth my time, especially once everyone knew Osmose + Ultima (or any other damaging spell) and most fights ended after three rounds or less.

And if I wanted a character that I couldn't control, there was Umaro.


Just how is grinding supposed to be a good thing? If the only challenge the game presents is "Your numbers are too small! Go push buttons for five hours until they are bigger!", I consider that a poorly-designed game. There should be solutions to every difficult fight besides "Come back at a higher level."

Making players grind does not make the game harder. It makes the game more boring.
Grinding is kind of the point of Disgaea. It is also the point of Etrian Odyssey/Dark Spire/Demons's Souls, and those were fun to play.

On the other hand, there were games like Mana Khemia, which was "grind-focused" but you spend a lot of time doing fun activities regardless. There are non-RPG examples, like Dark Cloud 2 or Monster Rancher, which basically amount to doing the same thing repeatedly but still come out as fun.

However, 99.95% of the time you see "grinding" it typically means the Dragon Quest-style of killing enough monsters to earn enough gold to buy enough equipment to make it to the next town.

VanBuren
2011-12-19, 01:43 AM
Speaking of Gau, I never much cared for him, so i didnt experiment much, was there anything useful in his rage list you could use? I just recall most of his attacks being fairly weakish. While cyan is quadra slicing with his dual wielded swords that hit everything at once for max damage, gau is off doing random low damage to whatever the hell he felt like.

In the SNES version? Wind God Gau (http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Gau#.22Wind_God_Gau.22). So powerful they made it impossible to do in the GBA version...

...just kidding. Gau can't do it anymore, but Gogo can.

Kobold-Bard
2011-12-19, 04:39 AM
Speaking of Gau, I never much cared for him, so i didnt experiment much, was there anything useful in his rage list you could use? I just recall most of his attacks being fairly weakish. While cyan is quadra slicing with his dual wielded swords that hit everything at once for max damage, gau is off doing random low damage to whatever the hell he felt like.

There were some, but getting them involved incidentally getting loads of others, swhich made going through his list every battle a massive pain in the neck.

The Succubus
2011-12-19, 04:53 AM
Speaking of grinding, I can think of one example where a Blue Mage has one of the hardest grinds in the game.

The game in question is FFVIII and the magic is very well hidden. Quistis learns Blue Magic through items rather than the proper way, which is just as well as this particular magic was quite capable of a TPK on even a well levelled party. It involved going to the Sunken Research facility (the place where Ultima Weapon resides) and grinding 100 Curse Spikes. Then, you needed to take a fairly weak GF, Siren and level *her* to 100. Only once you had done both of these things, you could refine the Curse Spikes into Dark Matter and learn Shockwave Pulsar, the ability one of the final bosses uses at the end of the game.

It's also one of the few abilities that can break the 9999 damage limit on its own.

Kato
2011-12-19, 06:46 AM
Are you meaning all games with a level system are not good or games that implement a level system must be so over powered you have no real need to level anything up (see also force unleashed)?

I'm just repeating what others said but... grinding is not the same as having levels. Grinding means to stupidly walk in circles trying to find monsters to kill because you can not advance without a higher level (or in some cases more money/etc)
A good game gives you all the XP and money you need by killing the normal encounters and doing the regular quests. No need to spend more time than necessary.



Speaking of grinding, I can think of one example where a Blue Mage has one of the hardest grinds in the game.


Exceüt FF VIII is basically so easy even accomplishing this is a piece of cake. Yeah, it involves some grinding but so little compared to stuff like... CHOCOBO RACING it's hardly worth mentioning. (imo)

Traab
2011-12-19, 08:51 AM
Pearl Dragon was pretty good, throwing around high-damage holy magic that very little resisted. The shades from the Ghost Train could be learned and dealt some good damage early in the game. The motorcycle-things from Narche also did some pretty decent damage with good physical attacks.

I rarely used him, though, because he just didn't have a fight command. Scrolling through over a hundred options just to find the two or three decent choices was just not worth my time, especially once everyone knew Osmose + Ultima (or any other damaging spell) and most fights ended after three rounds or less.

And if I wanted a character that I couldn't control, there was Umaro.


Grinding is kind of the point of Disgaea. It is also the point of Etrian Odyssey/Dark Spire/Demons's Souls, and those were fun to play.

On the other hand, there were games like Mana Khemia, which was "grind-focused" but you spend a lot of time doing fun activities regardless. There are non-RPG examples, like Dark Cloud 2 or Monster Rancher, which basically amount to doing the same thing repeatedly but still come out as fun.

However, 99.95% of the time you see "grinding" it typically means the Dragon Quest-style of killing enough monsters to earn enough gold to buy enough equipment to make it to the next town.

I was never a big magic user, my preferred party was pretty much always edgar, cyan, sabin, and someone else. For big boss battles id include terra, but id just as often have gogo.

As far as level grinding goes, meh, I never noticed a vital NEED to level grind in most ff games, if you did all the available quests and such you generally were a decent level before the final boss fights. If on the other hand, you tried to burn your way through the content as fast as possible, you might find yourself hitting walls as some encounters are just too much. Most of the level grinding is done because you want an extra advantage, or to make the final fights that much easier. FF6 was good, you basically just needed the experience egg, and to roam the dino forest for awhile. FF7 was annoying, because you generally wanted to level up a specific selection of materia, like counter, hp+ mp+ all, barrier, cure, etc etc etc, and it could take a long time if you hadnt been doing it the entire game like you should, because the best weapons for leveling up materia always had only a few slots. But even then, as I said, you should have been doing it the entire game so only the late game stuff like say, kotr, which you only need to use twice to beat sephiroth anyways, requires grinding to improve.

Mato
2011-12-19, 11:08 AM
I'm just repeating what others said but... grinding is not the same as having levels.Oh I agree. Reread things I've said if you have to. Like Cespenar spoke of farming monsters which I linked XP and most blue spells to. Kato was that started the spend time doing anything other than advancing the plot is grinding band wagon.

RPG is a genera and not a single mechanic. You can have level like attributes like Assassins Creed or Bioshock where you use cash for minor upgrades but have complete sections of the game to obtain larger upgrades. As I've been tying to say, those games are not really RPGs. RPGs tend to have a more of free form style of things. Like in Arkham City you could run around punching people in the face to obtain your upgrades in any order, or in Paper Mario be a 5HP monster that deals like 12+ per attack, or in Command Mission Axl could be set up to make your party immune to most effects.

Another very important element of RPGs is a scaling difficulty. Like the Arkham City does this by giving enemies more weapons or the more generic way of levels give boosts to stats as seen in the FF & Diablo line. In order to over come this you either need a really impressive tactic or level up your self. With the free form style this means the poorer your choices were the more time you spent not advancing the plot. Wise decisions didn't remove the grind, it lessens it. Like you may have choose to play the same characters to avoid leveling the other guys but you still fought hundreds of battles or maybe in Saint's Row the Third you focused on obtaining some respect through the side missions early on then let the game run to rack up money while you went shopping for an edge on things. It's still there and you're still doing it.

Comparatively, in some RPGs you are so over powered you don't pick up the sense that you ever had to do anything other than advance the plot. The Force Unleashed II certainly is a prime example here. You're default force powers could murder an entire planet's worth of people in an hour and even trying to play through it as fast as possible under easy mode because you'll be damned to even pay more than three bucks for it, you'll still almost cap level progression on the first play through. There is no grind in this game because you so over powered nothing less than a boss fight was required for you to even look at your health.

Psyren
2011-12-19, 11:44 AM
Terra was my favorite, though I'd use Celes in a pinch. Sabin was always there too. Gogo was powerful but I couldn't quite get over the... "clowniness." Strago and Edgar tended to round out my main team.

Tengu_temp
2011-12-19, 12:11 PM
But all that goes back to what I mentioned before.
RPG centered games that seem to skip the grind don't, they are just so easy you don't need to level up and so you didn't notice it or they simply are not RPGs to begin with.

Have you ever played an RPG? Most of them tend to be very easy, yeah, but if you purposely avoid all the encounters and levelling then the game suddenly starts to become very difficult due to sheer stat differences between you and the enemies. There is a reason a level 1 playthrough is considered a difficult challenge for most games, and, paradoxically, usually requires extreme amounts of grinding (just in ways that won't give you any xp).

Also, I have to make sure of something. Do you consider all fighting of random encounters to be grinding? If I walk from Plot Point A to Plot Point B and meet a random encounter on the way, does fighting it count as grinding? Because it doesn't, you know. Grinding means you run around an area and purposely fight enemies for no other reason than to get the thing you're grinding (xp or money, usually).

Mato
2011-12-19, 07:42 PM
Also, I have to make sure of something. Do you consider all fighting of random encounters to be grinding?I can ask you the same, but if I did I wouldn't load the question as requiring a binary answer and asked in such a way that one of those you know is wrong.

Each person is going to draw their own lines in what is or isn't grinding like any other definition of a word. For instance, you think all RPGs are easy due to thinking you need to fight every single battle, you clearly define this as the correct way to play and so if lost in a cave you would gladly spend forty minutes in a tangent of random encounters while back tracking.

Wikipedia would side completely against you.

Grinding is a term used in video gaming to describe the process of engaging in repetitive and/or boring tasks not pertaining to the story line of the game.As it would call the entire random encounter system a grind. They have nothing to do with the plot and they certainly are mindlessly repetitive.

Me? I'm not siding with either of you. A walk through for the cave if I get lost, run from encounters if I'd die, get pissed if random encounters are so annoying that even moving two steps pops another one up, you know. Average reaction if my friends in real weren't lying when they joined in their stories of gaming. I choose to play the RPG so obviously I want to mash some heads together, but that doesn't mean I prefer my save points hours apart or four hours of my life running down some dark hallways wondering if I'd rather read the synopsis and play something better. Like Arkham City where random encounters are the things you choose to do when you choose fall on someone's head and throw them at someone else.

Psyren
2011-12-19, 11:43 PM
Wikipedia would side completely against you.

By that definition, leveling skills in Morrowind is grinding (which admittedly, it is.) So is Morrowind not an RPG now? :smallconfused:

Hell, success at Skyrim requires quite a bit of non-story faffing about. Not to the degree of "leap into the canal, aim at bridge and wedge down swim key" but neither does everything you do to get stronger tie into the narrative either.

I was with you in the beginning when you were arguing against Cespenar/Kato but now I confess a bit of confusion.

Traab
2011-12-19, 11:55 PM
If you are running back and forth across the screen and going nowhere just to get into fights so you can level up, you are grinding. If you are crossing a dungeon and fighting whatever attacks you as you go, you arent. Hell, I can give a specific example from a game im playing now. FF4. I just recently finished the quest arc where I stop being a shadowknight and am now a paladin. I made a beeline for the end of the dungeon when I was a shadowknight, so no grinding took place. When I became a paladin I started doing laps nearby a save point so I could level my paladin up to a reasonable point and have a safe place to rest up as I was burning mp like crazy to kill the monsters until cecil could take them. Same dungeon, but one was grinding, the other wasnt.

Kato
2011-12-20, 03:06 AM
Oh I agree. Reread things I've said if you have to.

I wasn't going to argue, but since I started the discussion I wanted to contribute this bit even if it was late.

But to your recent posts... well, I have to agree with the others. Fighting battles is usually an inherent part of the gameplay. Yeah, fighting a RC every two steps is annoying but not every game is FF II. In a normal game, fighting the dozen or so encounters you'll have in a dungeon is as much part of the game as fighting the bosses or doing side quests. Opposed to... walking around in circles for the mere benefit of getting levels/farming money/items. If a game MAKES you farm for an item, like most MMO's at some point, it is grinding, though. Or I feel like I'm grinding. You can think otherwise but I feel confident saying 9 out of 10 people would agree with us, not you.

The Succubus
2011-12-20, 07:35 AM
So, those Blue Mages, eh....

I think we got started on this particular discussion because someone suggested that being a Blue Mage was easy. After all, be hit by spell, learn new spell.

I'm inclined to disagree.

Number one, would you rather go to a vendor and pick up a Fire Materia for example to learn Fire, or would you rather have a Shadow Flare *right in the face* to learn it? It's been a while since FFVII (a fact I intend to rectify soon) but undergoing hellish pain and damage which brings me to the brink of death or beyond really doesn't seem like the easy option to learn a spell.

Number two, a Blue Mage needs to be more than just a spellcaster - he needs a detailed knowledge of beasts as well. Which beasts can give me this particular Blue spell? Where can I find them? Do they have any specific requirements before they will hit me with Blue magic? (Two examples - the infamous L5 Death and the huge snake in FFVII that casts Beta - if it's HP is dropped too slowly, it'll knock party members out of combat, kill it too quickly and it won't fire off the spell). There's also the other fact that a Blue Mage will have to endure lots of standard attacks, non-Blue magic spells and skills while trying to find Blue magic.

Essentially, Blue Mages are hardcore masochists that have to work hard for their spells, rather than just sitting in a library with a hot cup of tea and a spellbook.

Traab
2011-12-20, 08:56 AM
So, those Blue Mages, eh....

I think we got started on this particular discussion because someone suggested that being a Blue Mage was easy. After all, be hit by spell, learn new spell.

I'm inclined to disagree.

Number one, would you rather go to a vendor and pick up a Fire Materia for example to learn Fire, or would you rather have a Shadow Flare *right in the face* to learn it? It's been a while since FFVII (a fact I intend to rectify soon) but undergoing hellish pain and damage which brings me to the brink of death or beyond really doesn't seem like the easy option to learn a spell.

Number two, a Blue Mage needs to be more than just a spellcaster - he needs a detailed knowledge of beasts as well. Which beasts can give me this particular Blue spell? Where can I find them? Do they have any specific requirements before they will hit me with Blue magic? (Two examples - the infamous L5 Death and the huge snake in FFVII that casts Beta - if it's HP is dropped too slowly, it'll knock party members out of combat, kill it too quickly and it won't fire off the spell). There's also the other fact that a Blue Mage will have to endure lots of standard attacks, non-Blue magic spells and skills while trying to find Blue magic.

Essentially, Blue Mages are hardcore masochists that have to work hard for their spells, rather than just sitting in a library with a hot cup of tea and a spellbook.

Yeah I never liked the ff7 blue mage materia. Like you said, its too much standing there letting the monster attack you, hoping that maybe THIS round he will hit you with the ability you want to learn. The worst part is, none of them are really useful end game. Your standard attacks are already hitting the 9999 cap. Well, I suppose the death skill is handy. :p But most of them are just neat graphics on paltry damage and not worth the effort to nab them.

Nerd-o-rama
2011-12-20, 09:40 AM
Yeah I never liked the ff7 blue mage materia. Like you said, its too much standing there letting the monster attack you, hoping that maybe THIS round he will hit you with the ability you want to learn. The worst part is, none of them are really useful end game. Your standard attacks are already hitting the 9999 cap. Well, I suppose the death skill is handy. :p But most of them are just neat graphics on paltry damage and not worth the effort to nab them.

The Control materia is your very best friend if you want to use Enemy Skill with any kind of effectiveness. Just like in Final Fantasy VI with Relm's Control ability.


I'd also like to point out that learning spells for other types of mages isn't always "sitting around a library sipping tea" or, to be frank, buying them from a shop like books. In Final Fantasy VI, magic mostly departed the world a thousand years ago and the only way for 10/12 characters to learn spells is to carry around the fossilized remains of a dead god and pick fights with everything (especially living cacti). Most of these cannot be bought, but rather have to be retrieved from dungeons or liberated from laboratories where the gods in question were slowly tortured to death.

Traab
2011-12-20, 09:47 AM
The Control materia is your very best friend if you want to use Enemy Skill with any kind of effectiveness. Just like in Final Fantasy VI with Relm's Control ability.


I'd also like to point out that learning spells for other types of mages isn't always "sitting around a library sipping tea" or, to be frank, buying them from a shop like books. In Final Fantasy VI, magic mostly departed the world a thousand years ago and the only way for 10/12 characters to learn spells is to carry around the fossilized remains of a dead god and pick fights with everything (especially living cacti). Most of these cannot be bought, but rather have to be retrieved from dungeons or liberated from laboratories where the gods in question were slowly tortured to death.

True, but most of those spells are fairly easy to learn and master while in the process of playing through the storyline. There are a few exceptions of course, but there is no reason why every single character cant have all the basic attack and healing spells well before the final dungeon just by playing as you normally would.

The Succubus
2011-12-20, 09:49 AM
True but then again, picking up Grand Train wasn't exactly easy.

Traab
2011-12-20, 09:51 AM
True but then again, picking up Grand Train wasn't exactly easy.

Oh god, grand train. Thanks for the reminder.

Psyren
2011-12-20, 10:51 AM
Grinding didn't even really feel much like grinding in FFVI. Between Sabin letting you play Street Fighter, Mog's dances, Shadow's THROW ALL THE THINGS and Edgar's Go Go Gadget X, the only time I had more fun in FF combat was FFV when I was building my own classes one ability at a time (and checking out everyone's snazzy new sprites outfits every time I got more.)

They weren't the most fun RPG combat systems around (Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana win those awards for me) but they were up there.


On topic: one more evidence for Blue Magi's superlative observation skills was their !Peek and !Scan powers in FFV. They were the only characters who could scope out enemy stats, moves and weaknesses without the use of any magic at all.

Kato
2011-12-20, 11:00 AM
Hm? Grand Train wasn't really that hard to get.... maybe a tad annoying...

As fir VII... well, Angel Whisper (iirc) was a nice substitute for all healing magic... and if you dodn't level to absurd levels Enemy Skills were rather handy throughout the whole game... most are still a pain to get, especially without a walkthrough :smallmad: There really NEEDS to be a way to make Blue Mages more useful without walkthroughs. I guess FF VIII did it good enough. Or X, where it was pretty easy to get a spell.

Kobold-Bard
2011-12-20, 11:05 AM
... Or X, where it was pretty easy to get a spell.

FFX did not do Blue Magic right. Except Mighty Guard (and maybe Supernova, it was so late in the game I don't remember) they were all just pointlessly bad.

However New Game+ on X-2 made their Gun Mage (Blue Mage with a gun) awesome because you had all the cool spells from the start.

erikun
2011-12-20, 03:13 PM
FF4. I just recently finished the quest arc where I stop being a shadowknight and am now a paladin. I made a beeline for the end of the dungeon when I was a shadowknight, so no grinding took place. When I became a paladin I started doing laps nearby a save point so I could level my paladin up to a reasonable point and have a safe place to rest up as I was burning mp like crazy to kill the monsters until cecil could take them. Same dungeon, but one was grinding, the other wasnt.
Funny, I've played just about every version and I don't recall Cecil having much difficulty at that point. If you spent all your money before going to Mt. Ordeals then you might need to do some grinding to buy his new paladin armor, but between his new sword and large amount of HP he should have no trouble cutting through anything there. You'll probably be over level 10 before you leave, even through a direct route.

Perhaps I should replay, say, the DS version without buying his armor in Mysidia. Doing little things like that really do make the game a lot easier, although only someone who has played through it once would know to do so.


True but then again, picking up Grand Train wasn't exactly easy.
Funny, I found it very easy to get the first time playing through, because the boss was somewhat tough and it threw the attack out before I could really finish things. The next time through, when I was more familiar with the game, I actually needed to re-fight that boss because I killed him too quickly. :smalltongue:


I do like the Blue Mages in Final Fantasy, because they do give you the choice of if you want to play 'grindy' or not. If you want to get everything, you can, and you can spend a lot of time doing so. Or you could not, and just rely on a few good spells that you are likely to come across.

Starwulf
2011-12-20, 05:07 PM
Speaking of grinding, I can think of one example where a Blue Mage has one of the hardest grinds in the game.

The game in question is FFVIII and the magic is very well hidden. Quistis learns Blue Magic through items rather than the proper way, which is just as well as this particular magic was quite capable of a TPK on even a well levelled party. It involved going to the Sunken Research facility (the place where Ultima Weapon resides) and grinding 100 Curse Spikes. Then, you needed to take a fairly weak GF, Siren and level *her* to 100. Only once you had done both of these things, you could refine the Curse Spikes into Dark Matter and learn Shockwave Pulsar, the ability one of the final bosses uses at the end of the game.

It's also one of the few abilities that can break the 9999 damage limit on its own.

I can think of another game where the grind is even worse: FFXI(their first online MMORPG). Blue Mages in that one were EXPECTED to have all of their spells, and they wouldn't get groups if they didn't. Had a couple of friends that spent at least 100 or more hours trying to get all their spells, some of the hardest ones often took 3-4 days of grinding 3 hours at a time just to get(of course, then you'd have the mook who somehow managed to get all of his spells on the first or second try and didn't spend more then 15 hours getting all the spells).

Traab
2011-12-20, 05:08 PM
Funny, I've played just about every version and I don't recall Cecil having much difficulty at that point. If you spent all your money before going to Mt. Ordeals then you might need to do some grinding to buy his new paladin armor, but between his new sword and large amount of HP he should have no trouble cutting through anything there. You'll probably be over level 10 before you leave, even through a direct route.

Perhaps I should replay, say, the DS version without buying his armor in Mysidia. Doing little things like that really do make the game a lot easier, although only someone who has played through it once would know to do so.


Funny, I found it very easy to get the first time playing through, because the boss was somewhat tough and it threw the attack out before I could really finish things. The next time through, when I was more familiar with the game, I actually needed to re-fight that boss because I killed him too quickly. :smalltongue:


I do like the Blue Mages in Final Fantasy, because they do give you the choice of if you want to play 'grindy' or not. If you want to get everything, you can, and you can spend a lot of time doing so. Or you could not, and just rely on a few good spells that you are likely to come across.

Its not exactly hard, I just wanted him to be somewhat closer in level to everyone else. And I KNEW I forgot something! I gotta go back to mysidia.

As far as grand train goes, its difficulty is the fact that you have one shot, (ignoring resets) to learn the skill. Its like stealing from the bosses in ff9. They often have awesome items, but sometimes they just wont let that really nice item get stolen. "Gee thanks, i got the hi potion. Too bad I failed 5 times in a row to get the mithril staff" (or whatever)

Kato
2011-12-21, 04:51 AM
FFX did not do Blue Magic right. Except Mighty Guard (and maybe Supernova, it was so late in the game I don't remember) they were all just pointlessly bad.


I was just talking about games that made it easy enough to get Blue Magic without a walkthrough. The effectiveness... well, I guess if you for some reason had no Lulu you could use some for elemental attacks.