July introduced more goodies for Final Fantasy 4: The After Years, including three new quests: one for Yang, the karate master of the kingdom of Fabul: Palom, the arrogant black magic prodigy of the magedom of Mysidia; and Edge: the young king of the ninja kingdom of Eblan.
Each quest costs 300 Wii Points ($3 USD), and is completely optional to the main game; only the main quest (bought for 800 Wii Points) and the final chapter, which will be released in September for 800 Wii Points, are necessary. These quests are here to supplement the story and allow you to get levels and items for the characters before they inevitably meet up and save the world. Since they’re optional, the real question is “Are the quests fun?”
(Note: To see my writeup of the original June content, which explains the basic story and game mechanics, check here.)
First up is Yang, who has been training his monk warriors diligently ever since the events of the original game. He also now has a beautiful daughter, Ursula, who is just as good a fighter – if not better – than any of Yang’s monks; yet, Yang refuses to train her. When Yang finds out that Baron is coming for his crystal, Ursula forces her way into coming along with Yang on his quest to find out what’s really going on. This quest took me just under two hours to complete.
Next up is Palom, who has been up to…who knows what? The important thing is, the Elder of Mysidia sends him to the land of Troia, a matriarchal state filled with beautiful women, to train an Epopt (one of the leaders of Troia) in black magic. Apparently, training an Epopt in black magic is pretty uncommon, and as Palom attempts to find out why an Epopt is being trained in such an unorthodox manner, a shocking secret is revealed. Palom’s quest took me two hours to complete.
Finally, we have Edge, who has taken four pupils under his wing to study the arts of the ninja. Edge would rather not be doing this – after all, there’s no need for killing arts during an era of peace. Soon, though, Edge sees the Tower of Babil pulsing with light, and fears the worst. His pupils convince him to let them go on reconnaissance missions, and thus begins his quest. Edge’s quest took me a little over two hours to finish.
As for my evaluation of these quests:
Yang’s scenario was a bit ridiculous in every way. A big problem I had with the original batch of quests is that it went out of its way to mimic plot events that happened in the original game, whether or not it was entirely necessary. Yang’s quest is almost an exact repeat of the events in Fabul from the original game, making it feel stale.
To top it off, it was absurdly easy; Yang and co. all have high HP and Attack power, as well as an ability called “Kick” which hits all enemies for a percentage of the user’s normal damage. One of them even has an ability called “Chakra” which heals one character for large amounts of HP. The whole thing was easy to blow through in a flash, and it was probably the most boring part of the game thus far.
Palom’s quest, on the other hand, was awesome; almost no old ground was covered, and save for one pointless “remember me?” boss, the whole thing was pretty original. Palom was always one of the more colorful, interesting characters of the original Final Fantasy 4, and his interaction with the Troians and the Epopt Leonora were amusing. This was, by far, the most fun I’ve had with this game yet.
Edge’s scenario falls somewhere in the middle. The concept of doing recon missions was pretty cool, but it amounted to little more than doing a dungeon with just one person. This was also very hard, too; you could eventually run out of MP and be forced to run away from the remainder of the fights. Still, the concept was pretty cool, and it did a good job of not stomping on old ground too much, so I had a fun time with it.
As with Ceodore’s and Rydia’s quests, there are challenge dungeons available after you complete a quest, which have super cool treasures in then. However, just like before, they’re absurdly hard. I would recommend going in as far as you can comfortably go and call it a day, but if you’re hardcore, then good luck.
Also, here’s my random musing to add about the game before I’m through: the sprites are remade from the original game to look more like Final Fantasy 6 sprites. However, the backgrounds look as if they were left intact from a different version of Final Fantasy 4, perhaps the one on Gameboy Advance. This is fine, and everything looks good…until your character walks through a door. Since FF4‘s character sprites were so much smaller, the new sprites don’t fit correctly through the door, and it looks like their head clips through the top. Not a game breaking flaw, but it sure is amusing!
And so, that’s about it! The next batch of content is coming out on August 3rd, so come back around then, and you’ll definitely be seeing another writeup from me.
I’d rate this DLC as a 7.5/10.