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Vagrant Story Revisited


Sabreman
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Possibly y'all are already aware but just in case...

1UP: Since you guys recently renovated and recreated the original Final Fantasy Tactics, it stands to reason that the only outstanding title in the Ivalice mythology --- Vagrant Story -- would be the next logical port to PSP, and we can't even imagine what sort of treatment you could give that game as you did with War Of The Lions. Can you tell us if you have plans for that game?

Kawazu: Vagrant Story was a title that pushed the PS one to its limits. The technical hurdles in porting it to the PSP would be extremely high. Of course, I think it's the next natural candidate for such an update, and there's no denying its extreme popularity overseas.

Sweet mother of justice please let it be so!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've decided to move this to its own blog, located here. It's much better for it presentation-wise, and I can do much more with telling the story visually. So far it's only up to where it was here, as I've spent all day today rewriting it into Blogger. Start at the link and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of each page to move along. There are tons more pics. One thing occurred to me a little too late though - my PC is connected to my TV, so everything is big to me, but I fear the screenshots might be a little small for a monitor with a high resolution. Especially since I'm not replicating text that occurs in the screenshots on the page. If that's the case I've got an agonizing load of resizing and uploading to do, but what the hell. I don't have anything else to do :)

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Guest Sentinel Red

It will be a pity to see the thread die but I guess given the silly image-per-post restriction, it is best the adventure is moved to its own blog.

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  • 3 years later...

OK, after buying this for my PSP I'm going to have a crack at it for the 6th time, from the beginning.

Given the sheer number of attempts now there are a few things I'm prepapred to do - one of which is ask here, is there anything I can do to make the game a bit quicker and easier in terms of choosing the right weapons for the right jobs? Like is there any generally agreed combination of four or five weapons I should try to use?

When I played it on PS1 originally, I always ended up doing no damage to the bosses per hit, and having to hit them a hundred times in a combo in order to kill them. I suspect I was "doing it wrong".

Additionally, does anyone have a map for the forest bit? I remember the game does the Zelda "confusing forest" map thing, which I remember being simply shit, so I just want a map to get through that as quickly as possible.

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After reading online, I'm not surprised I never managed to finish this. All of the guides suggest "training" a set of weapons for the weapon types and affinities. Then, you frequently have multiple enemy types in one room, which necessitates frequent weapon changes despite having to go through three menus to change a weapon!

Then there are quite a few other bits and pieces - for example, you can't carry enough weapons for every situation, so you frequently have to visit Resident Evil-style "crates" to re-arrange your inventory. You regain health over time, but out of combat, it takes ages to recharge (though there's no penalty for waiting, so you end up sat around waiting when it could just charge up instantly and save you the waiting).

I remember loving it way back when, but I'm not so tolerant these days; it just seems flawed despite the then-gorgeous visuals (and still wonderful visual design and color palette).

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That stuff's not very fair or accurate. I don't know if it's sour grapes on the part of people who just didn't get on with the game, or hyperbole from people who think everyone should play it as some kind of min/maxing lunatic, but you really don't have to work too hard to get by. You simply have to be sensible within the options the game naturally gives you. I usually do the whole thing with a one-handed sword, a polearm for Lizardmen and dragons, a mace for skellies and a crossbow for flying enemies.

Yes the lack of a quick weapon change is an oversight, but people make out that if you use the 'wrong' type of weapon on an enemy it either won't work or will undo hours of careful planning.

About a year ago I played through it from a fresh start for the first time in years. It took me 33 hours, was tough but doable in all the places it was before, and only cemented its position as one of the best games I've ever played.

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That stuff's not very fair or accurate. I don't know if it's sour grapes on the part of people who just didn't get on with the game, or hyperbole from people who think everyone should play it as some kind of min/maxing lunatic, but you really don't have to work too hard to get by. You simply have to be sensible within the options the game naturally gives you. I usually do the whole thing with a one-handed sword, a polearm for Lizardmen and dragons, a mace for skellies and a crossbow for flying enemies.

Yes the lack of a quick weapon change is an oversight, but people make out that if you use the 'wrong' type of weapon on an enemy it either won't work or will undo hours of careful planning.

That's fair enough; I accept I may be mistaken. My only experience of the game is my first attempt years ago, where I stuffed up my choices in terms of the weapon stats and reached a point where it felt none of the weapons I had could damage anything, and I was literally killing enemies with 60-hit combos to cause death by a thousand papercuts), and my 2nd proper attempt (started today) after reading a load of FAQs that frankly seem to assault you with a barrage of information about gaming the system.

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Always. ALWAYS have something silver on you. Preferably a sword or dagger.

Makes those pesky phantoms lie down and die.

I generally use:

One handed sword for humans/beasts

Club for skellingtons.

One handed silver sword for evil/phantom/undead. This easn't ideal, but there are so few evil enemies it makes no difference.

Spear for dragons/dragon men.

Crossbow for flying gits.

Silver wand thing for flighting phantoms with magic.

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Actually you only need 3 weapons. The enemy types are listed thus:

Human

Beast

Undead

Phantom

Dragon

Evil

The way the weapon stats work is - say you use an axe against humans, the more you use it the more effective it becomes, but the less effective it becomes on beasts and undead. However, it will not negatively affect the phantom stat. Likewise with beast - dragon and undead - evil. So basically you can effectively make your way through the game with one weapon for humans and phantoms, one for beasts and dragons, and one for undead and evil. Of course, after that there's the bonuses that certain weapon types offer (using an edged blade against a dragon does much less damage than one which pierces its scales, and a blunt bludgeoning weapon is very useful against a skeleton but a crossbow is fairly useless). On the whole though you can get by fine with just the three if you choose wisely.

:)

Also, it's not a good idea to rely on chains to defeat enemies - especially bosses. It looks cool, and if you can get a good first strike and keep the timing up perfectly you can indeed take out a boss without it getting a hit on you... but it's not likely. All that happens is your Risk rockets up, leaving you prone to a devastating counterattack with your defences at minimum. Either that or you guzzle through Vera items (to lower Risk) so much you don't have any left for the end.

No, the best strategy is in/out attacks. With your Risk low and an appropriate weapon equipped you can stab away at an enemy one hit at a time. You're much more likely to deal consistent good hits and you don't run the risk of your Risk getting out of control.

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So hang on, can you train weapons for multiple enemy types? I didn't realise that. I thought hitting an enemy with a weapon increased its affinity for that enemy and damaged it for the others?

IIRC Sabreman is right. Each affinity type is paired with another, so you can train up a single weapon in two specific types.

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Cheers, Sabreman. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed both this game and your thread / blog previously.

I put together an FAQ on VS about 12 years ago. Sadly, it came about as therapy for recovering from work burnout and a subsequent nervous breakdown so I've never felt an urgent desire to revisit it for the purpose of polishing. Lots of much smarter people said lots of very nice things about it, which was rewarding, and I enjoyed the correspondence with CJayC at a time when he was building Gamefaqs into a serious proposition. It was even published professionally, though only because an East European magazine publisher decided to pass off my work as their own guide -- the translation including all of my little foibles and mistakes.

Anyway. A few years ago, I stumbled across a US forum comment that said I'd missed a trick on combat and there was an even neater method of weapon dedication that somebody had described in another FAQ. I think it came down to a focus on just a couple of weapon qualities (e.g. ignoring the fact that you were using a blunt weapon against something that was weak against piercing) and so getting through the game with just three weapons. I never looked into it, but I might have to find out one day.

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I loved VS on release. Reading all the complaints about difficulty and fiddly menu stuff now makes me wonder how in gods name i ever finished it without a walkthrough now! The hardest part i remember was that stupid forest maze bit. Loved the story, and the design was top notch. I tried it emulated on my PS3 a few years back however and just found it too much to contend with and gave up pretty much near the start.

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OK, so here's a question. The third or fourth boss I've got to fight is some kind of dragon. I've got an edged sword that I've killed only lizardmen with so far, and a piercing spear that I've got a dragonite gem clipped to. Even at zero risk, no matter which part of the dragon I aim for, I'm always predicted to do 0 damage and I rarely do more than 1. Once again, like in my first playthrough years ago, it seems the only way I can kill the thing is to do 100-hit combos at max RISK to try to do a bit of damage.

What am I supposed to do in this situation? Go back and hunt for more lizardmen to "train" my weapon? Or do the bosses just have to be approached this way?

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Is this the dragon behind the big door that's across the underground river - after fighting the Stone Golem? Prostasia and Degenerate spells are essential (I think you'd have one or the other, or both by then). The best weak points to go for are the neck and legs, so try to run in and get to the side of the dragon and stab away at those parts. You should be able to do moderate amounts of damage - certainly more than 1 anyway. Because you're behind it, it will try to attack you with a tail whip, which is quite easily defended against as the timing is quite generous. I can't remember which defence abilities you have at that point, but obviously anything that reduces damage taken is preferable.

You should never really have to grind a weapon to take on a boss, but most require some extra strategy in terms of spells or weapon enchantments (usually as simple as casting Frost Fusion on yourself while fighting a fire-based enemy, for example, will dramatically improve your performance).

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Thanks, I was able to use Prostasia though the dragon wasn't vulnerable to Degenerate.

Managed to get to the next workshop and save, though I've yet to get this silver dagger people were talking about. Did I miss it?

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Managed to kill the next boss, which was this Wyvern thing. This time, even with Prostasia, nothing I had could really do any damage. In the end I killed it the way I killed bosses on my previous attempt - I equipped the two battle abilities that primarily do damage (heavy shot and raging ache - I think) along with a sceptre - as those have the fastest moves. Then I just did repeated 50-60 hit combos until it died, which was kinda cheating really.

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Nah, that's it. I just had to fight a fire elemental by the same method, as my abilities to raise the water affinity of my weapon still only left me doing a fraction of damage on it each hit (like <10) then with no save point offered to me in between, I fought this ogre enemy who critted me for 3/4 of my health in a SINGLE PHYSICAL ATTACK (not a special move or anything like that) and killed me, after he too was seemingly invulnerable to everything I was carrying, regardless of weapon, gems, enchantments or anything else. And I've been changing weapons religiously for every single enemy I come across, naming the weapon after that enemy type and damage type, despite it honestly feeling like dragging myself over broken glass going through that menu so much - seriously sometimes when I walk into a room and see more than one kind of enemy I sometimes want to turn it off right there. Now when I resume I'll have to fight the fire elemental again, and go through a fair few rooms, often waiting after each battle for the incredibly slow health recharge/risk cooldown.

Sorry, but the nature of the game just seems so obtuse. Due to the setting and the visual style I want to like it, but it's just not going to happen. I can see there's an enormous amount of depth there, and if you really want to get under the skin of the system, there's probably a lot there to like, but it's just not for me.

Can someone just spoil it for me and tell me what happens from mid-way through the game until the end, in a few sentences? Does the story pan out to be pretty good?

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I could bash out a synopsis given time, but firstly - how are you playing it? You say on PSP... is that a US or UK version of the game? I was thinking I could send you my save with my silly Ashley on it, and you could blaze through the game without having to worry about the combat, but enjoy the story. Mine is a US version.

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I could bash out a synopsis given time, but firstly - how are you playing it? You say on PSP... is that a US or UK version of the game? I was thinking I could send you my save with my silly Ashley on it, and you could blaze through the game without having to worry about the combat, but enjoy the story. Mine is a US version.

My version's UK via PSN, played on PSP.
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