Beyond the Shame of Any Man

Welp. I’m a member of the Whelk Club again. There’s a thread over at Talking Time reminiscing about Final Fantasy VI. And while the game is dear to my heart I played it so many times as a kid I find that I’ve become bored with it. I don’t think a playthrough in the past ten years has gotten past the Sealed Cave. I’d like to get to the World of Ruin or even just to Thamasa so I can’t play around with Strago. But the beginning is such. A. Slog.

Combined with this thread and that it’s winter (Final Fantasy VI, along with Secret of Evermore, is one of my christmas games. There’s heavy nostalgia surrounding it at this time of the year) I’ve discovered a deep desire to play the game again.

But the beginning… so tedious! Luckily, there are some extra things one can do to make the game more interesting.

The first boss of the game is The Whelk (renamed Ymir in Final Fantasy VI Advance), a giant snail that will hit you with a strong lighting attack if you hit the shell and not its head. The head is easy to defeat and the fight exists to teach the player that battles aren’t just about spamming attacks.  In Djibriel’s Final Fantasy VI FAQ (one of the most informative and well written I’ve ever seen. I would buy a published version of it in a heartbeat) he writes:

Note: If you are beyond the shame of any man, you can go for the Ether the
shell provides. Since the shell only has 120 MP, he can only use six Megavolt
attacks. After this, it is helpless. If you whittle down its 50000 HP and make
sure you kill both the shell and the head with one attack (use a calculator!),
you’ll get both an Ether AND a Hi-Potion, and it’ll only have cost you over an
hour and your dignity.

I have done this for the second time in my life. Why? It’s a pointless, stupid waste of time. But… it makes the game fun somehow. It took me the better part of an hour and roughly 75 turns and I enjoyed every mindless second of it. I don’t feel less dignified at all. If anything I’m proud of my pointless little accomplishment.

 What’s next? There’s always the World of Balance Ragnarok trick:

How does WoR equipment in the WoB sound to you? Fire absorption where you
really aren’t supposed to be able to do it? Sounds good? Don’t get your hopes
up…

The WoB Ragnarok trick is, in reality, an illusion. It’s possible, yes. It
doesn’t exploit bugs, no. But the odds are so astronomically small that even
when you’re abusing Save States on an emulator, you’re likely to spend hours
getting it to work. The pay-off can be very nice but it still isn’t worth it.

This is the trick: Magicite Shards and Setzer’s 3-BAR summons a random Esper, which can include any Esper except for Odin and Raiden. Ergo, there’s a small
chance that Ragnarok will be summoned (1 in 25). Some WoB monsters will
transform into nice items.

Why is this only in theory? Let’s calculate:

I’m skipping Setzer’s odds at landing 3-BAR, as it’s a variable factor anyway,
and if you want to execute this trick no matter what your sanity says, you’ll
want to go with Magicite Shards.

4 % (Ragnarok odds)
12.5 % (odds that Ragnarok actually hits one of these critters)
25 % (good item odds, as in the case of Miracle Shoes/Flame Shield and Organyx,
the other 75 % will get you a Potion)

The final odds are 0.125 % of getting the item you desire. That’s 1 in 800.
So, like I said, while the trick makes for interesting trivia, only a dog of a
man would scrape an advantage out of this trick, like leftovers from a plate.

I don’t think I can pull this one off. I’m not playing on an emulator so save states are out. But that doesn’t mean I won’t give it an honest try. Why? Because with a game as good as Final Fantasy VI you’ve got to wring out every last bit of goodness that you can.

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2 Comments

Filed under Games

2 responses to “Beyond the Shame of Any Man

  1. I replayed it this past summer, so I can’t foresee myself playing Final Fantasy VI again for a while. But these…. these ways of playing the game… sounds painful! D:<

  2. Metal Man Master

    While I haven’t tried going for the Whelk/Ymir Tincture/Ether myself, I can totally see the appeal of such crazy endeavors since I made an art out of slaying Objet d’Arts for AP in Castle Bal’s basement in Final Fantasy V Advance. Under normal circumstances, those statues would make mincemeat out of you, but with some clever tactics (of the Lv. 5 Death/Lv. 3 Flare/Gold Needle variety) they become one of the better enemies in the game to grind AP and gil from, with the added advantages of a save point, inn, and shops being very close by.

    Oh, and they also have Twin Lances to steal on occasion, which are a Thief/Ninja weapon that hits twice.

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