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View Full Version : Just how hard is the original version of this game?



Goldenboko
09-28-2012, 09:00 PM
Having played the GBA version, did I miss out on the real FFI?

Psychotic
09-28-2012, 09:09 PM
Yep.

It's not nightmarishly hard, but there's a lot less hand holding than in the newer FF games, and a lot more trial and error.

VeloZer0
09-28-2012, 09:16 PM
The GBA version is a lot better balanced than the original game, which is one of the reasons that it is easier. That and you level much much quicker.

theundeadhero
09-29-2012, 12:18 AM
Limited spell use means knowing when to heal :)

VeloZer0
09-29-2012, 12:39 AM
Limited spell use means spamming the hell out the the Healing Staff. :D

ShinGundam
09-29-2012, 10:57 AM
Yep.

It's not nightmarishly hard, but there's a lot less hand holding than in the newer FF games, and a lot more trial and error.
BTW, FFI had handholding compared to PC88/PC98 JRPGs from mid and late 80s , the most simple example of handholding is including airships for faster travels :p. My point is the whole point of FF experience and console RPG is more handholding compared to PC JRPGs.

Wolf Kanno
10-01-2012, 07:07 AM
It's harder and probably one of the hardest entries in the series with you watching your whole party get wiped often. Grinding helps but not as much as later games. The title is very resource based with trying to make decisions about using precious items or spell charges to survive longer, running from battle to preserve said resources, and whether you are brave enough to really try to explore every nook and cranny of a dungeon for rare and powerful loot with a very real chance of dying and having to redo the entire dungeon. If you get easily frustrated about failing and having to redo sections of a game, then the NES/Famicom version is not for you.

I just finished a playthrough of the NES version (probably the hardest version thanks to all the bugs) and I pretty much had to relearn all the basics again about playing old school RPGs like save often and actually using the run command. Also it's not about spamming the Healing Staff, the later dungeons sometimes involve spamming the Healing Staff and your three Healing Helms every other round just so you can keep everyone alive.

VeloZer0
10-01-2012, 06:35 PM
The old kill every enemy off but one and have everyone spam the infinite use healing items trick.

Raistlin
10-01-2012, 09:16 PM
Yeah, the GBA version is a cakewalk compared to the original. The original involves lots of running and tough healing choices and dying. Sometimes it's a grindfest just to get through the next area. And sometimes the game just screws you over (e.g., no auto-retargeting after an enemy is killed).

VeloZer0
10-01-2012, 09:22 PM
My favorite is the following:
>Party enters battle at Full HP
>Enemy gets preemptive attack
>4 Enemies cast instant death attacks
>Party annihilated before you even had an opportunity to enter a command

Fynn
10-06-2012, 02:25 PM
I remember trying it once and dying in the first random battle I encountered. I was 11, though, so I guess I can be forgiven :p

Cloudane
10-06-2012, 02:54 PM
I don't think it's stupidly hard - it's like the others: the bigger the level differential between you and the enemy, the less you have to think about strategy in battles. Run around levelling up enough, and you can button-mash through it like any other FF :p

The mechanics are more awkward, though - for example you have to queue all 4 attacks at once in this game. Fine but if an enemy is defeated by the first character and you've just blindly fed "attack attack attack attack" commands at the same enemy, your next 3 characters will just wave their swords at thin air where that enemy used to be. So you have to really think ahead when feeding in those commands - is your fighter strong enough to wipe it out in one hit? Then get your monk/thief/whatever to target something else so you don't waste turns.

This was "fixed" in the remakes and a fine example of where they've been simplified as a result.

That and it's fun playing the old FF as it was meant to be, going through the FFs and watching the progression in graphics and game mechanics from one to the next etc.

koyappi
10-06-2012, 03:09 PM
The original game is hard for me because in the old games you had to be a lot more diligent in your explorations. Things were not as easy to find and the most random things would get you rare stuff!

Shauna
10-06-2012, 03:29 PM
I remember trying out the NES version. I got lost within about a half hour and stopped playing. Although, that's probably not an issue I'd have only with that version of the game. xD

industrial
10-20-2012, 10:55 AM
What makes the NES version more challenging than the GBA is inability to save unless you enter an inn and much more limited magic. There are no ethers and you can cast a particular level of spells 9 times max before having to go to an inn, but brand new spells you can probably cast it like 1-3 times depending on level. Money is harder to come by too I think. Oh yeah, and dead characters cannot be revived until you get the rise spell; there's no phoenix downs and rise/unstone spells can only be cast out of battle.

Yar
10-20-2012, 06:24 PM
I think there are just too many bugs in the game, especially magic. Some spells don't work like they should, others simply do nothing. It's kinda sad. I used to love playing this game old-school on the NES, but after the Origins version was released I haven't touched it much. It's just too broken :/

black orb
10-21-2012, 07:15 AM
Having played the GBA version, did I miss out on the real FFI?
>>> Not only the real FF1, you have also missed out one of the most beautiful games created by humanity. The ultimate 8-bit experience..:luca:

Sefie1999AD
10-21-2012, 03:09 PM
The user interface makes the game a bit more annoying because you have to buy each item one at a time. The lack of auto-targetting ("Ineffective") adds a bit more strategy to the game, but it isn't that bad once you get used to it. Getting levels is slower than in GBA, and grinding at the beginning of the game is especially tedious (unless you use the Finger Point), but once you get past the Marsh Cave, the game should begin to flow a lot smoother.

You have very little MP for casting spells, but that's why it's a good idea to use equipment for spells. For example, use Zeus Gauntlet, Mage Staff and Black Shirt for Thunder/Fire/Ice 2, and Heal Staff + Heal Helmets for healing. Ice Cave is probably the hardest dungeon in the series since it requires some luck to beat (you might get ambushed by enemies that decimate your party before you even get a turn).

Even with the challenging parts mentioned above, I still think there are some harder FFs in the series, such as FFIV, FFV and possibly FFXII and FFXIII. Although FFI was only the 8th game I've played in the series, it's also the one I've beat the most frequently, most likely because the game is pretty short. If you want to try the game with the original difficulty, but with a smoother user interface, I'd recommend either the WSC version or the PSX version with Normal difficulty. To be frank, I still haven't bothered to finish the GBA version since it felt such a breeze compared to the other versions, including PSX with Easy difficulty.

Bolivar
10-26-2012, 04:46 AM
GBA is ridiculously easy, but it's a very fun game and well-made game. I've beaten it a few times, but have yet to get past the Ice Cave in the NES version.

I do think it's a hard game, and does require some grinding to even make it in a couple dungeons. But it's still incredibly awesome and I recommend checking out when you have some free time for a game.


It's harder and probably one of the hardest entries in the series with you watching your whole party get wiped often. Grinding helps but not as much as later games. The title is very resource based with trying to make decisions about using precious items or spell charges to survive longer, running from battle to preserve said resources, and whether you are brave enough to really try to explore every nook and cranny of a dungeon for rare and powerful loot with a very real chance of dying and having to redo the entire dungeon. If you get easily frustrated about failing and having to redo sections of a game, then the NES/Famicom version is not for you.

I just finished a playthrough of the NES version (probably the hardest version thanks to all the bugs) and I pretty much had to relearn all the basics again about playing old school RPGs like save often and actually using the run command. Also it's not about spamming the Healing Staff, the later dungeons sometimes involve spamming the Healing Staff and your three Healing Helms every other round just so you can keep everyone alive.

This must've been an epic playthrough. Did you emulate or go authentic? What was the final play clock at?

Wolf Kanno
10-29-2012, 07:08 AM
I played it via Virtual Console on my Wii. I picked up the game last year as part of the Operation Rainfall campaign and decided I needed to play the game on it's original system since my actual copy is so old it crashes in Elf Land. I beat the game around Lv. 28-30 and I'll need to w~check the times, but I'm going to guess it took me about 20 hours to complete though that's not counting the hours lost when my party got wiped. The Chaos Shrine alone took me three to four tries to beat since the rematch with the Four Fiends are pretty intense, sadly Chaos wasn't so tough.

It was pretty intense, with me often going into dungeons with 99 potions and a fully healed party only to leave said dungeon with half to 3/4 of my party dead and down to 12 potions as I tried desperately to hobble back to the nearest town/church. I also feel there is something magical about playing the games in their original form. The 8-bit music held up great and the monster designs were actually really good, even more menacing than some of the later entries.

Rebirth
11-13-2012, 07:32 PM
Its harder than FF1A by a good margin, but its really NOT that hard. Its definetely easier than FF3 or FF4 (well not the gba FF4, which was stupidly easy), and imo easier than FF5 when you factor in the bosses.

Bahamut2000X
11-13-2012, 08:35 PM
The NEW version is painfully easy if you know how to play it, and more so after level 14-16 or so if you have a Monk. Monk is easily the most overpowered class of all time, ever. My last NES playthrough I was one shotting every enemy and most bosses with my Monk.

Chzn8r
11-16-2012, 06:55 AM
My favorite is the following:
>Party enters battle at Full HP
>Enemy gets preemptive attack
>4 Enemies cast instant death attacks
>Party annihilated before you even had an opportunity to enter a command

This made me cry as a child and still makes me rage as an adult. No matter how well leveled you are, the Sorcerors in the Ice Cave and Castle of Ordeals (Citadel of Trials) are just some of the most unfair enemies ever coded into a video game.

フリオニール
11-18-2012, 09:13 AM
It was always so tense for me in all of the FF dungeons because it seemed any encounter could thwart all your time and effort, and it was back to the Inn you rested at. Finally getting Dejeon and Teleport was a huge relief.

Ice Cave was especially scary, but Citadel of Trials took the cake. That one group of enemies that kept casting Fira would pretty much decimate my party, so it was pure luck after multiple tries that I got through the dungeon only encountering maybe 1.

ignoman
11-29-2012, 04:02 PM
It can be hard without guidance.

Difficulty ramps up sharply in the beginning, so there's a fair amount of requisite grinding (especially if you insist on using the best gear and spells as soon as possible).

There's also very little guidance about where exactly to go at certain points. Without a walkthrough, you have to be willing to piece together cryptic NPC text and search the land for dungeon entrances (while avoiding being worn down by a multitude of monster attacks).

Granted, for a 1987 game, I don't find FF to be particularly challenging when compared to its peers. There are more obscure NES/PC RPGs from the time that are less forgiving and just as obtuse. Wizardry, Might and Magic, and Ultima come to mind.

I recommend playing the PSX version in 'Normal' mode if you'd like a reasonably authentic experience without some of the NES shortcomings. Origins fixes some of the NES bugs and brings the interface up to WS/16-bit standards. Improvements to the game in versions beyond Origins were minimal, with the exception of decreasing the difficulty and adding some inconsequential sidequests.