My Entries For The Great JRPG Character Face Off!

Japanese Role Playing Games (JRPGs) are an all-time favorite genre of mine. I didn’t discover my love of the series until my teenage days. My love for reading and storytelling captured my interest in the genre and has kept me satisfied to this day. The most prominent games that come to my mind are Tales of Symphonia, Final Fantasy VI, and Trails of Cold Steel. While I could go one about each individual game, this post is focused on the characters from this genre. 

The dynamic duo of Pix1001 and Winst0lf has asked the community on who are our top 5 favorite characters from any JRPG. To take a look at their choices, you can find Pix1001’s here and Winst0lf’s here. If you would like to participate as well, feel free to write a post about it, or let Pix1001 and Winst0If know via social media or in the comments.

With that out of the way, let us get to the difficult part; selecting characters. Choosing from all of the JRPG games that I have played, I had to ask myself why did I like this character to begin with. It became more difficult to define my reason why I liked them based on their character, personality, and significance to the story. There is a good chance that I missed someone while thinking things over, but I am satisfied with my choices. So without further delay, here we go (by the way, none of these are ranked in any particular order).

  1. Elliot Craig

At first glance, there is nothing really special about Elliot. It is strange that this fragile good boy is enrolled in a military academy, but has no intention to harm anyone. Being the son of a famous lieutenant-general also doesn’t help his awkward predicament. So why do I like him among his fellow classmates? Two reasons.

One, he is the best white mage that I have ever played as. The Master Quartz that he is given at the beginning sets him up for greatness as his healing arts have greater potency and cost less. If his quart is leveled up all the way, he can easily fully heal someone with a single Tear (beginning healing art). His crafts can also heal and buff characters and normally cover a good area to include everyone in one go. Finally, in the heat of the moment, his S-Craft ability, Remedy Oratorium, lets you not only revive everyone, but fully restore them, replenish CP, and gives them regan for 2 turns.

Second reason, he is a man of music. As a fellow musician myself, I appreciate his philosophy of healing the world through song. Not everyone his stature can find the strength and courage to meet danger head-on, but Elliot doesn’t let his weakness bother him in order to protect his friends. His mission in life is to heal the world through music and I greatly appreciate that.

  1. Magilou

Mazhigigika Miludin do Din Nolurun Dou (or Magilou for short) is a funny and annoying character. While her character can be seen as a comic relief to balance the team out, she also carries a dark, unfortunate side to her. She’s not afraid to stare death or Velvet in the face, because she is that confident/cocky in her abilities. What made her really stand out for me was her gameplay in battle.

At first I was hesitant to use her because she felt slow. That was until I learned how to play her and discovered that she is a bane to all spellcasters. Magilou has the ability to siphon her opponents’ magic while they are casting, and then use it to unleash powerful spells of her own. I immediately jumped on the Magilou train afterwards and would immediately switch to her if I noticed any pesky spellcasters out there. Plus, she has a belt made out of books. How badass is that!

  1. Dhaos

Dhaos was one of the first antagonists to make me feel two things at the same time; fear and sympathy. He is introduced in the very first scene of Tales of Phantasia dominating over his opponents. He is only defeated when he is sent back in time and imprisoned on arrival. About two hours in, he is freed from his tomb and proceeds to one shot everyone around him; including his lackeys and your best friend. You are then left to wonder how you will defeat someone who can just travel through time when defeated, can only be harmed by magic (in a world with no magic), and can kamehameha his way through people.

Then you learn about him. Originally from the planet Derris-Kharlan, Dhaos is a benevolent prince that goes on a mission to save his planet after a war destroys their Mana Tree. Using their life to teleport Dhaos to the planet Aselia, Dhaos tries to plead with the king of Midgards to cease their development of magitechnology to prevent what happened on his planet. Used as a martyr by the king’s closest advisor, Dhaos is seen as a demon who will destroy Midgards. With little choice and power, he makes a contract with the demons of Daemonium to force Midgards to stop their research and the firing of the Mana Canon. His efforts are in vain however, as the canon is fired and kills Aselia’s Mana Tree in the process. With no way to germinate a new Mana Seed, Dhaos loses his mind as he feels he failed both worlds. He then starts killing humans so that no further catastrophe can happen. This is just an abridged version, as the full story makes his story more tragic.

Dhaos’ character shows that anyone can reach a breaking point. Everything that he sacrificed seemed pointless at the end when he gave up trying to resolve things peacefully. It makes the opening statement of the game even more haunting; reminding that if there is evil in this world, it lurks in the hearts of man.

  1. Zidane

The last entry was dark, so let’s try to lighten things up! Zidane is a lovable playboy thief with a monkey tail. His charisma and willingness to help anyone makes him more of a burden than helpful. Nevertheless, he is seen as trustworthy on a number of occasions and will go out of his way to see his promises through. His character never cracks until he discovers his origins. He goes from friendly and optimistic to harsh and distant. He loses himself for a while, but his friends get him out of it and he goes back to being the protector he is. Without the help from his friends, he could have forgotten who he was and find the resolve to stay true to himself. I admire that and hope that I have his strength when/if the time comes.

  1. Towa Herschel

Towa is best girl and must be protected at all time! No scratch that. This confident and capable women don’t need no knight in shining armor to get what she needs done. The amount of work that she juggles while attending Thors Military Academy would make anyone exhausted. Due to how badass she is, she casually lead an airship full of military students during a civil war like it was f***ing nothing. Towa shows that strength can come in many different sizes and it is one’s commitment that can accomplish anything. She is a normal human being with no special powers, but has one of the biggest hearts I know.

So those are my choices. Who are your favorite JRPG characters? Feel free to share your favorites with Pix1001 and Winst0If!

Real Neat Blog Award the First!

I have been nominated for my very first Real Neat Blog Award. That is really neat!

I have to thank Jelly Puff for nominating me! Jelly runs a great blog where she shares her travels, feelings, and gaming hobbies. Follow her along as she knows how to canvas her emotions with her writing.

Image links to Jelly Puff’s Site

The Rules

  • Display the Award Logo. Check!
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog. Check!
  • Answer the questions of the one who nominated you.
  • Nominate 7-10 bloggers.
  • Ask them seven questions.

Jelly’s Questions:

What’s your favorite book? If you don’t have one, what is a piece of literature that you’d recommend for me to read and why?

My favorite book (and possibly series) is Redwall by Brain Jacques. My fourth grade teacher introduce me to this series and I have loved them ever since. Jacques knows how to set you into the world by detailing each area vividly and giving each race their own dialect. It amazed me at the time that it made sense that different cultures and races would speak differently from one another, and Jacques pulls it off so well for young readers. I have not read all of the books in the series (slowly working on obtaining them all) but it is a series that I differently want to read to my kids.

If you only got to play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

That is a tough one, but if I had to choose it would be Monster Hunter World. There is so much content packed in this game with more on the way. While I do prefer areas and content in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, my hands are not what they used to be anymore with the claw hand. I also have friends that could help with completing some of the achievements in the game and try to obtain all weapons and armor in the game.

Where’s the next place you’d like to travel to and what are the reasons?

Around this time next week, I was suppose to travel to Japan for the first time. With the state of the world right now, we obviously had to postpone it. My wife had been watching a lot of travel blogs, and she loved looking at the ones about Tokyo Disney. She is a huge Disney fan and she hopes to one day visit all of the parks. We choose Japan because we both obviously want to go, but there is more to do in the area than just Disney. We were planning on spending a day or two roaming around the different cities and trying out all the food (that look appetizing). We still plan on going later this year hopefully when things start to die down a bit.

How do you like your coffee or tea?

I like a dark roost coffee blend with a little cream (french vanilla) and sugar.

For tea, I am a southern boy and I like it iced and sweet!

Do you have any allergies?

I have no known allergies except for a few exceptions:

Regular Milk: Regular milk gives me an upset stomach, but things made with milk does not bother me. It’s strange, but I cannot consider myself lactose intolerant when it is just regular milk that messes me up.

The Marinara Pasta from Pizza Hut: This is the strange one. I am not allergic to any other type of marinara nor any pizza from Pizza Hut. It is just the pasta that sends me into hives. I discovered this by eating an entire dish by myself. The next thing I know my entire body is covered in hives and I want the itchiness to stop. Worst situation I had gotten into in my entire life.

Are you a morning lark or a night owl?

I have definitely become a morning lark. I work eight to five almost everyday and have become use to waking up early in the morning. I also feel better in the morning doing things rather at night when I’m worrying when I should go to bed. My body is not use to staying up pass 11pm most nights, but there are times that I can ignore it and continue on.

Who’s that artist or band you have on endless repeat when you’re looking for something to listen to?

I have various artist that I listen to since my go to music is video game soundtracks. There is always a soundtrack out there that fits the mood that I am feeling. If I had to pick a favorite composer it would have to be Nobou Uematsu without a doubt. His music made me realize how artful video game music can be (despite my music teachers telling me that it was not :/). I love listening to orchestral arrangement of video games and I have been lucky to see The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses when they were touring.

For non video game music, I enjoy brass bands. We have a local group called No BS Brass Band and their music is excellent. If you care for a listen to their music, I left a link to their Spotify page here.

And that is it for my Q&A. Thank you again Jelly for the fun questions! Now it is my turn! I nominate the following bloggers for a Real Neat Blog Award:

Kelly from Why We Play Games

Larissa from Games (and Other Bits) // Musings and Thoughts

Gaming Omnivore from Gaming Omnivore

Naithin from Time to Loot

Hobbit of Hyulre from It’s Dangerous To Go Alone

Ryan from Games With Coffee

Pix1001 from Shoot the Rookie

And here are my questions:

  • Yes or No?
  • Do you experience any aches or pains in your body?
  • If you could create a new type of sport, what would it be or similar to?
  • What is a game that is generally received as bad but is your guilty pleasure?
  • Do you prefer writing with a pencil, pen, or keyboard?
  • When was the last time something made you laugh so hard?
  • Do you play an instrument? If so what is it? If not, do you have an interest in learning how to play one?

Thanks for reading!

DanamesX

#maybeinmarch More Like “I Will In March!” – Final Fantasy VI: Advance (The Setup)

Last month, Kim from Later Levels invited us to participate in Love Your Backlog Week. It was a fun event for all of us in the community to show off our shame prize collections and take time to evaluate it. A question that was asked of us was what was one of the oldest games on our backlog that has gone unfinished. For me, that honor went to a little unknown game called Final Fantasy VI.

My original game cartridge with custom case I made!

This game and I have been through a lot. I picked this up sometime after it was released on the Gameboy Advance. I knew absolutely nothing about this game or what it was about. It was another RPG to add to my handheld collection. I was not prepared for what I was getting myself into. My brother and I got instantly hooked on it. There was something about the story, combat, and world that keep us coming back for more. For as much as we played it, it soon lead to a defect that we were not too unfamiliar with.

One day when booting up the game, I noticed that both of our files were missing. We have had games in the past that would lose our data, but we had methods to attempt to revive them (no one told us blowing into the cart can do more harm than good). After several attempts and no results, we were left contempt to just start all over again (it really was no big deal to us at the time). The headache did not stop there however. We noticed that if we drop the game on accident, our data would be erased. If we took it out of one Gameboy and put it in another, there was a chance the data would erase. If we gave it the slightest tap, it would sometimes erase our data. This soon turned into a frustration and fear of playing it in the event our data would just be erased. We couldn’t trade it in for a different copy since by that time it became a hard to find game for cheap; and us country boys didn’t have money just laying around. We counted our losses and just lived with it.

Enter the age of emulation! We here at Tales of the Backlog do not endorse emulation for your all of your gaming needs. While it is nice to be able to play hard to find games through the practice, pirating games should not be an option and it takes away support from the developers and their lives. If you own the game however I see no problem since you already showed your support. Please support the official release! I was introduced to emulation when I first started college and it blew my mind at the time. I mostly stuck with Gameboy Advance games since they ran better on my crappy laptop. It was then I got the idea to emulate Final Fantasy VI this way so that I could finally finish it. I already owned the game so I felt less guilty for doing so. Finally I could get past the world of ruin and confront Kefka in his tower!

Yeah, no.

My laptop decided to die on me and take everything with it. Are you kidding me! Is this game cursed or something!? I’m almost convinced that no one has actually beaten this game. I did not try to emulate it again since the ROM site I had used shut down and I did not want to risk getting viruses on my new laptop. So years pass since the last time I attempted playing the game. There was the Steam version of the game, but I would rather sell my soul than play that version.

I would not test the game again until the Super Nintendo Classic was released. Loaded on the device was Final Fantasy VI (Final Fantasy III in the U.S). There it was. Right there in front of me in a playable state, but I couldn’t do it. If I was going to play and finish this game, it was going to be the copy that I have had the longest. I decided then that I would attempt it again to beat the game. I tried to get my wife to play along with me since we were doing a thing were we would play the same game side-by-side. She attempted to play it once, got as far as the first split and gave up (I still love her). To her advantage, she had never played a game using the Super Nintendo controller and it was weird for her. I thought a good remedy for this was to get the Final Fantasy Anthology for her to play on the Playstation, but her interest faded a long time ago (I played Kingdom Hearts 2 for you!!!). Back on topic, with this being a solo show I decided to go an extra step in the experience.

Introducing the Gamecube Gameboy Player! I always wanted this accessory when it first came out, but finding the device and disk together these days can be hard and expensive. I lucked out by obtaining both from an online store that I frequent for less than $100 USD. The game plan was to play the game using this and never eject the cartridge until I had beat the game. A noble plan. I was surprise to find my data from the last time I played still there when I started the game. I decided why not since it was not too far into the game. Upon playing the game on my 32′ HD TV, I knew the quality wouldn’t be the prettiest, but darn it I am playing this game. Halfway into the game I came across something that I did not know I had the tools to. I had bought a VGA to HDMI converter two years back and completely forgot about it. What I didn’t know however was that it was an upscaler and I could connect it to my Elgato HD60 S (finally an excuse to finally use it!). A tweak and two there voila! I can now record my footage and get video evidence that I have beaten this game legitimately!

This is a long post (not as long as part II) and I haven’t even started to talk about my thoughts on the game. There will be a second part to this post that goes into my thoughts and stats while playing the game. It will go up at the same time as this one so no having to wait! I am so happy that I could finally finish this game that I had to share the adventure that me and this game have had up to this point.

Thank you for reading and I hope you also read Part 2!

DanamesX

Love Your Backlog Week 2020

This Valentines’s week, most people will be thinking about the love they share with significant others or another substitution to fill the void. While I tend to not over celebrate the holiday, I do like interesting topics that revolve around the theme of love. Enter Love Your Backlog Week! This fun observation of our backlogs was created by the lovely Kim from Later Levels. Thank you Kim for giving me more reasons to talk about my backlog!

I originally created my site with my backlog in mind. I wanted to create a project to help motivate me to finish games on my backlog. At the time of writing this, I have completed a grand total of 5 games since starting my blog. A small number indeed, but with how busy my schedule was last year, I’m actually really proud of myself. Where does that leave me in the grand scheme of things? Well….

It’s Over 9000!……minus 8518.

If I am counting just games in my personal backlog, I am currently sitting at 482. This is big for me because I could have sworn that number was bigger. I have decided to exclude games that my wife owns, which would add an additional 206 games. I am not technically responsible for those that she has bought, but she does have a lot that I do want to play (all of the Suikoden, Dark Cloud, Wild Arms 3). I don’t expect to be below 500 for very long, but I will enjoy it while I can! With all of that out the way, Kim also provided us some questions to ask associated with our backlogs.

A Game You Are Eager To Play, But Haven’t Started

This was a tough choice since I have a lot of great contenders. Ultimately I will have to go with Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wing and the Lost Ocean. The Gamecube is home to some of my favorite games and I am a sucker for card base games. Baten Kaitos was one of those games that eluded me into wanting to try. At the time I heard mixed reviews about the card element, and it strayed me away from it for a while. Now that I am older and have opinions of my own, I am eager to try to play this one day. Like fine wine, I am waiting for the right moment to crack this bad boy open and enjoy it for what it is.

A Game You Have Started Several Time But Haven’t Yet Finished

There is one game that comes to mind, but I am saving it for a different category. My answer for this questions will have to be Dark Souls: Remastered. I own this game on three different platforms (PC, PS4, and Switch) and I have yet to get beat this game. I am further in the PS4 version, but stuck in Anor Londo fighting Ornstein and Smough. It is only a matter of time until I beat them, but every time I get over one struggle, another pops up that makes me put the game down for a while. Or in the current case, go play Dark Souls II or III for the time being. I will beat it one day and praise the sun for the rest of my life.

The Most Recent Addition To Your Library

Lucky, I keep a track list of all my purchases! After telling myself that I was not going to buy any new games this month (lols) I bought The World Ends With You: Final Remix. I have a good reason though! My GameStop had it on clearance for $21 USD! How could I have passed that up? I’ll tell you how, I didn’t. Not even Cat could stop me because she could not argue that price. On top of that, I had an active $5 coupon, bringing my total to $16 USD! I never felt this giddy buying a game since the time I bought Seikero when it first came out for only $10 USD. I have the DS version of the game, but I think I will start over with the Switch version since I did not get far to begin with.

The Game Which Has Spent The Most Time On Your Backlog

That is very hard to tell if I want to go technical. The oldest game I could come up with is Final Fantasy VI: Advance. I picked this game up on a whim one day and did not realize how popular (or valuable) it was. This would have to be one of the oldest games that I own that I have not finished; but for a good reason. My cartridge is very special in that the slightest tap will erase all the data on it. I have gotten to the second act of the game multiple times, only to have my data erased one way or another. For that reason, this is one game that I have not been able to finish (yet).

The Person Responsible For Adding The Most Entries To Your Backlog

Who are they? What person would do such a thing to me? What motive do they have for adding this responsibility to me? Does such a person exist? Do I know who is responsible for this?

Shocker!

Okay I admit. I have no one to blame but myself on this one. This was never the case in the past however. Growing up we did not have a lot of money to buy video games all the time. The games that we did get I had to share with my other two brothers. Since we only had a small collection for a while, it was easy to pick up a game that was not finished and play the crap out of it. It was also easier since we had all the time in the world when were not in school or band. Even when I got my own job and could start buying my own games, it wasn’t frequent that I would leave a game unfinished. The two contributing factors that started me on this past happened in the same year. My original PlayStation 3 died on me and took all the data I had saved on it with it. This caused me to start over on most of my games at the time; and me being me I did not want to start over on some of them. The second factor was around the same time. My friend gave me his old gaming PC and he taught me how to build a PC from the ground up. After that, games on Steam were no longer an obstacle and I planned on one point to do my main gaming on it. That did not pan out as well, and now my Steam library continues to build as I continue to play Final Fantasy XIV. It also doesn’t help that I like to find old games that I did not have the chance to play in the past. I get a rush finding difficult to find games and immediately snatch them up to add to my collection. Now if I can get around to play said games then I could be dominating my backlog.

For those interested in browsing my collection, I keep an “organized” spreadsheet that is kept up to date frequently. For Steam users, you can view my library here. 2020 is shaping up to be the year I tackle most out of my backlog and I am looking forward to see how far I can go!

Thanks for reading,

DanamesX

Secret Blogger Santa 2019!

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

How’s it going everyone! This year I had the opportunity to participate in Secret Blogger Santa hosted by the lovely “Lightning” Ellen from Livid Lightning Thank you again for hosting this event! This is my first time doing this, so I hope I did everything correct.

My designated blogger I received was the up and coming Ry from Hobbits of Hyrule. Like me, he is new to the gaming blog scene and started his journey in August. Since then, he has produced thirty-six post and they have been enjoyable to read. Currently on his blog, he is documenting his journey in the Galar region by doing a nuzlocke run. He is currently six episodes in and things are starting to heat up. You can catch the first episode here! Other than that, Ry likes to talk about games that he has recently played and talk about them in a mini review like setting. He categorizes all of his post into New, Old, and Recent. I highly recommend his thoughts on Screencheat (a game I never heard of but very interested in now) and Breath of the Wild.

For my gift, I would like to present him with the Hero’s New Clothes from the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker!

The idea behind this gift is that no matter where you go, or how you look, you are always wearing the clothes of a hero. I also think it is an appropriate gift since his blog revolves around the Legend of Zelda ascetic. Hopefully the clothes will make him feel like a hobbit and a hero at the same time. Plus its machine wash safe and dryer friendly!

I hope you enjoy the gift Ry and keep up the good work! Thank you again Ellen for hosting this event and I hope you all enjoy the holidays!

DanamesX