The other night I took my kitten Plasma over to a friends house, this house has two giant fluffy cats who were indifferent to the arrival of this intruder.
Plasma on the other hand flipped her personality a thousand degrees and hissed and growled at everything and everyone.
So these cats would just be sitting on a couch minding their own business, and Plasma would run up to them and start hissing and growling just because there was a cat there, later this would get annoying and the other cats would hiss back.
This is FF13 in a nutshell, you spend your entire life on a tiny little world that is largely comprised of hallways and then you end up on a huge expanse with all these strange creatures roaming about minding their own business. So what do you do? You run up to them, and attack them.
Then you get pissed at the bigger ones who end you. You learn to avoid those ones, and you proceed to mercilessly slaughter everything else over and over again. Just like a kitten.
And the respawn time is excruciatingly quick.
It's a huge pain at the Yassiff Blablas, when you only have one path that you have to go back and forward on to get your mark, and fighting those giant flans over and over again.
But a huge blessing with those penguin things, only a couple of hours of sickness time filling and all main grids maxed out, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Right so Mark 4 is where I left it so Mark 4 is where I begin, ugh do I really have to recount every mark? I'll give it a go, I need to refer to the game to find out my rankings, I should write these down in the future.
This was the penguin one, and it wasn't hard though I recall it summoning a giant wolf to end me which did make things a little difficult and I thought that the giant wolf was the actual mark and I groaned at the FF12 ish nature but the guide I'm looking at for reference reminders doesn't refer to a wolf so I guess not. Phew.
Zero stars. Oh well
So the next stone activates close by I think some guy wanting to kill his wife, all the way in the other area of Massif Yakcasha. Easy enough.
The 6th stone is a way stone hooray! I can use it to teleport back to the start I guess. Kind of convenient. But not really.
This one was the munchkin one, I liked fighting munchkins because they were the easiest things to kill at these point and they gave off 2000 cp and they respwaned near each other all the time, I made a note of this to level up here if I needed to.
But I never did.
Anyways this mark was especially funny to me because theres a battle exactly the same on the way to the cieth stone and then again on the way to the mark and then again on the way back from the mark. Why was this l'cie such a huge failure? in fact a lot of these guys end up giving up right around where their marks are. Poor fools.
5 stars. Oh yeah. This will be the only 5 stars I get. So relish in it now.
A cutscene occurs at the city ruins, either now or before the previous mark who cares. Vanille reveals that she turned into Ragnarok, finally. And that she would have hated everyone back then, Fang cant remember why she turned to crystal, Vanille can but won't say, only saying that it is her fault everyone died. Lightning tells her not to worry so much, dead is dead. Lets save the people who are alive today.
It is very possible to miss all this, so I guess that's why it just gets dumped in your datalog for no reason.
There are a ton of cieth walking about the place but I avoid them to activate the cieth stone, ooh its a green one. And green apparently means boss battle? Its a special mark anyway. The first undying, which is what Vayne's ultimate form is correct?
Its this flying thing with spatulas for wings, its tricky but not deadly.
Then it falls down on a platform, child cieth stones wake up and shoot it into a crystal blob for some reason. And thats the end of that.
Looks like I'm finally done here, time to head back to the central expanse, but wait it looks like theres a new cutscene available in this map, oh its probably just showing me the way out as it does some times. I use the teleport ceith but notice that the cutscen is still there. UGH. It's right in the middle of the two way stones, these things are useless.
Trudging my way to that area and fighting wyverns and shitty annoying giant flans and their flowers. I make it to the spot, where some crazy ass monster fly past them. It's a fal'cie and its not named after an old summon. It's home is apparently close to Oerba so following it is the way to go. I never see it again. So far.
Now I have to fit past those damn flans again. ARGH stay dead for more then a second please.
On to the 8th mission, which is another waystone. Wait, this should have been the FIRST waystone, why should I care about teleporting here? There is nothing of interest here. Damn it.
So its one of those mexican fighting birds and some ****ing flans who get in the way, No biggie.
Back out onto the central expanse once more, the next stone is just a corpse throw away and its mission is a Kaiser Behmoth. But I cant even kill the standard behemoth that run around gayly. Unless maybe now I am strong enou- nope.
How am I going to do this? I end the game at this point but that was several days ago. At this point I am saying 'Where are the damn chocobos!?'
Turns out Kaiser Behemoth isn't so bad after all. 3 stars.
The next stones fly by in a haze of flu season, but a trusty guide will help jog my memory some more.
Number 10 is a robot, and was average at best I suppose.
The 11th stone is in a horrible place, there are giant wolves and behemoths all over the place, there is a path through them but it takes a couple of retries to figure out. Apparently this one was penguins again, and while killable I apparently didn't do it well enough.
I remember that I found a lot of these stones out of order but didn't do their missions out of order, which meant a lot of running around until I found the next damn stone in line. Number 12 is a red stone, which is actually the boss battle stone I guess. It says that these battles are going to be furiously hard and you don't have to do them. Screw you.
It's another undying, and while impressive looking he wasn't that hard at all, easier then the penguins apparently. He didn't end up in a crystal blob thing. Inconsistency!
XIII stone is a goblin one, yay. It would have been cooler if the undying was this one then it could be a game reference thing. Oh well.
These guys aren't weak against elements but are exactly the same as the munchkins.
The 14th's stone wants me to go into that once barricaded area where the red stone stood guard. I just hope it isn't another huge corridor like Yassi Mastaba. It isn't? Hooray!
It starts off as a corridor and it hits a cutscene where Sazh notices a stench, a wonderful stench, chocobos! HOORAY
These things are wild, with their untamed neck plaits. Sazh sets his chicobo down with the others, but it tumbles around and makes a fool of itself. Sazh decides to leave it there and it beats the shit out of him. Not until the fat kid wakes up, dick.
Fang watches this whole thing and he is embarrassed, she tries to apologize about what happened to Dahj and he waves her off, it was his fault for not keeping an eye on him, so he'll let her off for that.
She tells him he is starting to sound like a better father everyday. Bitch. She is so awesome.
I try to save at the save point before the battle, but it doesn't let me and and just chucks me into a battle. Against sahagins which goes well enough in that I don't die. But not according to the rules.
And now I have access to chocobos!
So I spend the next hour or so getting all that unobtainable treasure and discovering another area that leads to sheep, and Vanille rips a chunk of wool out of one for NO REASON. The path keeps on going and eventually I reach another red barrier thing. Great.
Mission 15 it is.
The goblins are in that horrible area with the wolves and behemoths, the chocobo makes it easier to avoid them all, and the goblins go down smoothly.
These marks are starting to get repetitive.
I call it a day here, but there is still another session to go through.
Onto mission 16, a yellow one. Oooh. But yellow doesn't mean anything at all. Aww.
And here it is, here is the mission I could not beat. Over and over and over again. Different combinations, different characters. Nothing, there were just too many lizards. And they would make my actions stall and then no one would heal me and I would die.
I didn't want to end up having to grind until I came to a mission I couldn't beat naturally.
And so the grinding began. Beating the ever loving crap out of penguins for hours.
This couldn't have come at a better time, I was so sick yesterday that I couldn't sleep, but I couldn't do anything else either except mindlessly stare at the tv.
And when my options were fresh prince of bel-air and a movie I had seen several times, or penguin grinding. I chose penguin grinding.
I ended up working out the best two groups of penguins to alternate with and just ran back and forth over and over, hitting auto battle and not really paying attention to anything.
Once everyone had maxed out all three main grids and Sazh maxed his out way faster then everyone else, interesting.
I was also ready to put more of an effort into the game, brain having recharged or something.
So back to the Sahgins I went. Still a challenge but not a horrible, oh god there is no way to win this challenge.
3 stars. Awesome.
Finally I could attempt stone 17, a waystone guarded by a fighting giant wolf and behemoth, easy enough to avoid but I wanted to see if I could kill them yet. I could, hooray.
The 17th mission was a robot, who blocked everything and dealt a lot of damage, so I just sabotaged his stagger up while 2 medics healed me and then beat him to death when he staggered.
1 star. Oh whatever that was a perfect strategy.
No more stones were activated, except number 54 and I ain't even trying that one until I chronologically reach it. I decided to check out that other red stone just in case the map didn't show me because it was a secret stone or some bullshit.
It hadn't activated, but I did stumble onto an Ochu boss battle.
All my leveling didn't help with this one, it revives its stupid babies. Bah.
Good to know I haven't broken the game and that it is still annoyingly impossible to win things, that would make for a sad experience.
So with nothing else to do, I decide it must be time to leave this place, fearing that i haven't done everything,.But perhaps I can come back here. I don't know how big this chapter is.
So I finally let the gang find that tunnel, and they go in and learn that tunnels are made by a fal'cie who likes to make tunnels. What uncaring dicks they muse, but fang correct them, her home was built on land cleared by a fal'cie they coexist together just like the snobs on cocoon, get over yourselves.
There are robots here that are super easy to beat thanks to my levels, I would say whoops but I am glad I can play a game where every single encounter isn't a giant undertaking and since the respawn time is after the next battle, it makes for some less frustrating beck tracking. it's about time.
I stumble upon a giant machine boss battle of death, show isn't so bad after all, it wastes a ton of time steam cleaning, and when anything staggers is when I go into DEATH MODE. After its death a cieth stone is seen, it's dormant but I am relieved to know that there are future cieth stones and I am not missing anything by progressing.
The gang make it to a bridge and Atomos comes rolling about, he is a big ball with orange spikes, like a chicken. He makes things rumble, and is the music changing? Its too rumbly to be sure. They decide they will hitch a ride, 'now you are thinking with Pulse' says Fang.
And hey there is a waystone here, and this one is actually going to be a convenience, unlike that stupid base camp one because I can teleport back to the start of here instead of having to back track from a later point so i can teleport back here. Good.
And the mark is just around the corner also good. There a robots in the way and they are the type to summon more robots but its a non issue. And the actual mission is exactly the same except the robot general has more health. But is also a non issue.
Instead of backtracking to save my game I decide to just press on, I love that the flans here are now easily slaughtered. Oh it fills me with such joy.
The save point I reach is in a flower filled fissure that everyone says is pretty. Hope suggests we rest here a while and I agree.
Edit: Man, I go to look at the Official FF13 thread and everyone is still way ahead of me on page 7, and its March 14. I am so old news.