Tara got me Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light this past Christmas, and I played a bit of it, but quickly found myself stuck, my party of four split and unsure of where to go next. It was all so very unclear. And that’s a shame as the game itself is gorgeous to look at on the Nintendo DS, with a storybook feel to the graphics and classic fantasy soundtrack and adorably colorful towns to explore. I also loved the way the job system was implemented, focusing on wearing different crowns and enhancing them with dropped gems from defeated monsters. And just like in Dragon Quest IX, changing gear and hats reflects truly with your characters, meaning that sword of +2 fire looks like it means it. From what I played, it was a good game, but also brutally difficult.
The high difficulty–in my eyes–stems from two parts. The first has to do with the battle system; it’s traditional turn-based fighting with a seemingly minor change, but it’s one that can mean the difference between surviving a commonplace fight or failing and losing a good chunk of your gems. See, you don’t get to select who you are attacking or healing or using an item on. You just select Attack, Heal, or Item and hope that the AI behind all the menus can do the correct and smart thing. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t, leading to a couple frustrating fights, especially when the bosses come stomping around. The other reason for FF: T4HoL‘s difficulty has to do with its love of gameplay design of yesteryear; there’s no map, no in-game message on what to do next, no quest log, no sense of true accomplishment when it comes to rescuing a prisoner or defeating a legendary monster, no hand-holding whatsoever. You are a hero of light, and you are on your own. The story is simple and without pepper, meaning it can be forgotten easily even as you play the dang game, but thank goodness for online walkthroughs.
That said, I’ve recently gotten back into the game thanks to this wee vacation of mine. I had to grind a bit to get my only two heroes in the party (
Aire Samantha and Jusqua Goyle) high enough to beat a specific dungeon, but now I’m making much more progress and much easier at that. Currently, we’re inside a mysterious whirlpool in Liberte, fighting off a lot of water elemental enemies and slimes that like to merge with their brethren. I’m hoping to unlock more crowns sooner than later though as the measly three right now are not enough to call life exciting. Evidently, there are a few crowns you can get from playing wireless multiplayer games with other FF: T4HoL players, but alas, every time I log on, there’s no one to join up with. Guess I should start pretending like these Seamstress and Beastmaster crowns don’t exist anymore. Waaaaaaaaah.
And that’s the update for now on being a hero of light. I’ll be back to let you know
if when evil is destroyed for all of time.