Ultima Final Fantasy | The Ultimate Final Fantasy Podcast

This week, Kaleb and Joe assemble to discuss their recent foray into VR gaming with Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV. Join them as they discuss their thoughts on the games in depth story, gameplay, and overall legacy. Make sure to get your nominees in for our awards show at the beginning of next year, and enjoy the grind!

Direct download: UFF_MonsteroftheDeep_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:44pm MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe return to the 2005 action film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. Join them as they compare and contrast the film to the complete version, and discuss what they like and dislike about the film as a whole. You can watch along with us, or just as a regular podcast. Enjoy!

Direct download: Final_Fantasy_Advent_Childred_Revisited_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, the guys go on a hunt for a Gameboy Advance SP to play Final Fantasy Tactics Advance on. Join the guys on a journey for answers as to which games are required for play on the GBA, and journey throughout Utah Valley to obtain the legendary handheld.

Direct download: UFF_GBA_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:15am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe revisit the cult classic Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Join us for this special commentary/discussion about Star Wars!

Direct download: FFSpiritsWithinRevisited_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:01am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe catch up on a bit of Final Fantasy news, mainly centered around the aforementioned brothels of Final Fantasy XIV. Enjoy!

Direct download: UFF_NewsCatchup_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:20am MST

Join Joe, Kaleb, and Kaleb Jr. on thier quest to review the classic Final Fantasy Tactics.

Remixes used:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXINwGF7C64
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNEjq3aFd88
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcKtvNMU4z0

Direct download: UFF_Tacticspt2_mixdown2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

You wanted variety, you got it. Today we bring on the Craigert from [Nude]Clan to discuss Final Fantasy Tactics.

Is it the masterpiece everyone said it was? You'll find out!

In this first half we delve into (and scream about) story and gameplay.

Remixes used in this episode:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4Up6Psb3u0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIrP5mJIGBM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR4Gmn7Ji4s

 

Enjoy!

Direct download: UFF_Tacticspt1_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:49am MST

As you can see, Joe didn't finish Final Fantasy tactics yet again. Instead of reviewing the classic game, the guys sit down to discuss a few tactics for Final Fantasy Tactics. This idea came from Joe's recent destruction at the hands of Belias. They also cover a very interesting piece of news involving Al-Qaeda. Enjoy!

Direct download: UFF_BeliasFightFromTactics_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Schweiss, Joe, and Craig assemble to talk all thing horror in Final Fantasy. From the lightning dodging to brutal boss fights, the guys recount their most horrifying moments throughout the entire series. Remember to listen with the light on!

Direct download: UFF_Horrorstories_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, the guys embark on a visual sort of tale, where they judge the covers of the various Final Fantasy games throughout the series. There are a few repeats among hosts, and I'm sure among listeners. Take a trip down artwork lane with us. Oh, and we also talk about Metallica for about 20 minutes. But that's to be expected.

Direct download: UFF_topcovers_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe invite a longtime listener onto the program. Reathomus/James joins in from Hong Kong to talk everything Final Fantasy. From controversial feelings on the eighth entry, to not actually finishing Final Fantasy VII, James tells his tale. The crew also updates their progress on Final Fantasy tactics. Enjoy the Grind!

Direct download: UFF_James_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

Spotlight: Yasumi Matsuno

 

Now that we’ve officially in the Tactics run of the Ivalice era, I figured that now would be a good time to shine a little light on a huge force behind the scenes of the Tactics games: Video Game Designer, Director, and Producer, one with an absolutely stellar career: Yasumi Matsuno.

 

Yasumi Matsuno was born October 24th, 1965 in Myoko, in the Niigata Prefecture of Japan. Growing up in a rural environment, Matsuno claims that he was very isolated as a child. Thus, nearly all of his time was spent in front of television screens, reading books, and practicing the very specific hobby of creating dioramas, especially those based on World War 2. Oddly enough, quite the indoor kid considering that he grew up in the countryside.

 

His had his first video game experiences as a high schooler, playing one of two arcade games at the local train station. One was PacMan, a game I’m sure we’re all familiar with, and the other was a game called “Xevius”, a vertically scrolling shooter war game where you take on the role of a combat airplane.

 

Matsuno wanted to become a writer for either books or movies, but he decided to do the smart thing and go to college and study Foreign Policy.  Finding his studies unfulfilling, he dropped out of school after 3 years to pursue his dreams. He did manage to get a writing gig as an economic reporter, but he wanted something more creative. A fan of the games Ultima Online, Dragon Quest, and The Legend of Zelda, he tried to land a writing job at a gaming company. Incredibly good at getting jobs, Matsuno landed a lead “Planner” position at a game developer called “Quest”.

 

The first game he did “planning” for was for the NES game “Conquest of the Crystal Palace”, not much is known about this game’s development, except that this was the first time Matsuno and his later partner in crime, composer Masaharu Iwata, began working together.

 

Moving up to a director position at Quest, Matsuno pitched a Fantasy RPG strategy game that would be put out on the new SNES. Borrowing strategy, fantasy, and Active-Time elements from the games “Nobunaga’s Ambition”, “Daisenryaku”, and “Master of Monsters”, game would come to be known as “Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen”. If I were to describe the gameplay to a Final Fantasy player, it would be Final Fantasy Tactics, but with a much simpler map.

A couple interesting facts about the game: the North American Edition of the SNES version is considered one of the rarest games of all time since only 5000 copies were ever shipped. Another odd fact: Ogre Battle was a Queen song, and also Queen’s name is used in The “March of the Black Queen” part of the title. Basically, Matsuno is a huge fan of Queen and refers to them often in his games.

 

After the success of Ogre Battle, Matsuno would get to work on a sequel, changing the gameplay in drastic ways, focusing more on intimate battles, and making the world a 3D one. Behold the awkwardly titled “Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together”. Now Ogre Battle was pretty much FF Tactics, but this, if you’ve seen screenshots of it, was almost exactly the same game, but with a tragic multi-branching storyline inspired by the Bosnian Genocide.

 

Tactics Ogre was an extremely popular game, with RPG Gamer calling it “forever [...] a masterpiece”.

 

Oh, and “Let Us Cling Together” is a Queen song.

 

Not one to stay anywhere for very long, in 1995 Yasumi Matsuno quit “Quest” to move to the big leagues. He would get a job at Square Soft, getting to work on a game very, very, very, similar to Tactics Ogre, a game called…

 

...Bahamut Lagoon.

 

...Which would later have the Final Fantasy name slapped on it in the form of “Final Fantasy Tactics”.

 

Tactics, of course, would turn out to be legendary. As in hearing people tell us to get to tactics is a legendary pain in the ass. That’s how popular the game has become.

 

Creating the Ivalice Universe, Matsuno would stretch his strategic and tactical game design skills in the loosely-related Vagrant Story. Inspired by architecture from France, nearly canceled due to it’s size, it released in 2000, and would be a smash hit, and earn the coveted 40/40 from Famitsu Magazine.

 

Next he would oversee Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced in a producer role, and also help out with the horrible PlayOnline Function on FFXI, but his next big gig would be as co-director (along with Hiroyuki Ito) of a little PS2 game called “Final Fantasy XII”.

 

FF12’s development history is insane and I’m not gonna get into it here, but Matsuno was one of the people deeply upset by Hironobu Sakaguchi’s messy departure from Square-Enix, and quit square officially over “illness”, which may or may not be true, we talk about that on the FF12 review I think.

 

Since 2006, Matsuno has been a free man, a freelance game that many companies have clamored for. He wrote the super-violent Wii game “Madworld”, as well as the 3DS game “Crimson Shroud”. He was asked to help write another Tactics Ogre Game, and even worked with Hironobu Sakaguchi on his mobile title “Terra Battle”.

 

Currently he’s working on two games for Mobile Platforms, “Unsung Story” and Lost Order”.

 

In conclusion, for those guys who think that the greatest Final Fantasy game of all time is Tactics, you know who to thank. Matsuno is one of those game Directors who truly has a unique style. Way to go, Matsuno

Direct download: uff_spotlightmatsuno.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

Schweiss n Craig dive into their recent experiences with the heartfelt remaster of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. They dive into which version they prefer, and touch on the new improvements that the PS4 remaster offers, as well as a few things they wish it had included. Enjoy the ep!

Direct download: UFF_ZodiacAge_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

The B-Team has taken on Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. They dive into the story, gameplay, music, sound, design, and overall thoughts on this more than well received mobile game. The crew ends the show with an interesting quiz set up by Metunnica. Enjoy the Grind!

Direct download: UFF_Jakenkrin_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe discuss the turn of the millennium through the eyes of Square and Enix. We discuss the lackluster sales before the release of the epic PlayStation 2, and dive into the new era of IP's for Square. We also answer a few questions about themes songs in the series, and discuss the recent additions to our sacred list. Enjoy the grind!

 

The Remix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOqdqRNtaJs

Direct download: UFF_Historypart9_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe discuss their "progress" in Final Fantasy tactics, and then dive into their take on The Maiden Who Travels the Planet, a novella released in the Final Fantasy Ultemania Omega, and translated by the wonderful folks over at thelifestream.net Enjoy our take on a few things, and we hope you support our decision regarding the inclusion of the Xeno games. Enjoy the Grind!

 

The Series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdoryr958KY&list=PLF510E28D5E4FDE2A

 

 

Direct download: UFF_Miadenwhotravelstheplanet_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe kick off Season 3 by catching up on forum questions, news, and heartfelt reviews. Join us for our thoughts on the recent Assassin's Creed collaboration, the mobile Final Fantasy XV port for phones, and of course, the release of the classic "Eyes on Me" for vinyl.

Direct download: UFF_Assassinsfestival_mixdown2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This weeks episode features a discussion based on the sidescroller beat em up A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV. Join Kaleb, Joe, and Kaleb as they discuss the various aspects of the game including gameplay, "story", music and design. They also dive into what they feel the game adds to the series, and to XV as a whole. Enjoy!

Direct download: UFF_Kingstale_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe dive deep into their thoughts on the recent Final Fantasy XIV expansion, Stormblood. Join them for their story recap, and overall thoughts on gameplay changes, music, design, and of course, the dungeons. Enjoy the Grind!

Direct download: Stormblood_Review.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:35am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe return to a listener favorite: Mythic Origins. Join them for a discussion on Bahamut, Cockatrice, and Leviathan. Enjoy!

Bahamut- Bahamut comes from Arabian Mythology. He is a giant fish that acts as a supporting layer of the earth. According to Zakariya al-Quazwini, a 13th century Arabic Astronomer, Earth is supported by an ox that stands on Bahamut who dwells in a cosmic ocean. That ocean is in a bowl that sits on top of an angel or a jinn (also known as a genie). Another account claims that Bahamut is supporting a bull named Kujata, who’s supporting a ruby mountain holding an angel who holds and supports the seven earths. Yet another version of the story  accounts that Bahamut supports a bed of sand that supports a bull, who rests a rock on his back holding the waters in which Earth is located. Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges claims that Bahamut is the large fish that Jesus beholds in the 496th night of the One Thousand and One Nights. In this version, he is a giant fish swimming in a vast ocean, carrying a bull on its head which bears a rock and above the rock is an angel who carries the seven stages of the earth's. Beneath Bahamut is an abyss of air, fire, and a serpent called Falak, a serpent so great that only its fear of Allah’s power keeps it from swallowing all of creation.

 

Cockatrice- FFIV  The Cockatrice is a mythical beast that’s a two legged dragon, or serpent like beast, with a rooster’s head. The name derives from the medieval Latin calcatrix, which means tracker. According to Alexander Neckam, a mid 12th century English Scholar and Theologian, the cockatrice is the product of an egg laid by a male chicken and incubated by a toad, sometimes substituted with a snake. THe name became almost synonymous with basilisk, the main difference being that basilisks are generally depicted as animals without wings. The cockatrice is a pretty lethal creature. It can kill you by looking at you, touching you, and sometimes breathing on you. Medieval bestiaries reported that the weasel is the only animal immune to the glance of the cockatrice. The two ways to slay the beast is by it hearing a rooster crow, and having it look at itself in the mirror.

 

Leviathan- Leviathan is a sea monster referenced in the Hebrew bible in the Book of Job, Psalms, and Isaiah. In the Book of Job, Leviathan is a reflection of the older Lotan, a primeval monster defeated at the hands of the god Hadad in a very “Zeus slaying Typhon” kind of way. Some scholars have interpreted Leviathan as referring to large aquatic creatures, namely the crocodile. Leviathan later became used as “great well” and also a general term for “sea monsters”. In modern Hebrew, the word simply translates to “whale”. The Tanakh mentions Leviathan six times, and is generally referred to as an ocean creature that isn’t harmful, but is instead part of God’s creation. Later Jewish sources described Leviathan as a dragon who lives over the sources of the deep and along with Behemoth, will be served up to the righteous at the end of time. In the Book of Enoch, Leviathan is described as a female monster dwelling in the watery abyss. When the midrash (explanations of the Tanakh) were being composed, it was believed that God originally produced a male and female leviathan, but ended up slaying the female to prevent the creature from destroying the world and reserved her flesh for the banquet that will be given to the righteous upon the coming of the Messiah. In Christian mythology, Leviathan has come to be used as an image of Satan that endangers God’s creatures and God’s creation by threatening it with being eaten, and upheaval. The creature is described as a demon of envy, and one of the seven Princes of Hell, corresponding with the seven deadly sins. Leviathan has become associated with the visual motif of the Hellmouth, who is a monstrous animal into whose mouth the damned appear at the Last Judgement. Revised versions of the Bible have suggested that leviathan may be a name for a crocodile and that Behemoth is a hippo, and Young Earth Creationists have identified these two as dinosaurs. Like I said before, we started using LEviathan to refer to any sea monster around the early 17th century. Great whales, Kracken, whatnot what have you. Leviathan represents the Element of Water and the direction of West in the Satanic Bible, where he is also listed as one of the Four Crown Princes of Hell.

Direct download: UFF_Summons4_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

Join us for a sit down about whether or not we feel that UFF will end before Final Fantasy XVI comes out. The guys also turn the episode into an impromptu State of The Podcast. The state of said podcast is obviously strong, and the guys dive into the inner working of their philosophies regarding the way they play these games.

Direct download: UFF_FF16ortheendofuff_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:03am MST

Joe and Schweiss discuss the perfect amount of side-quest content within a Final Fantasy title. They dive into what they want to see in Final Fantasy XVI, and discuss the game they think has handled side quests the best so far in the series. Enjoy the Grind!

Direct download: UFF_Sidequests_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Schweiss, Joe, and of course Krinital, join forces to discuss Final Fantasy XIV's Post-Heavensward content, Dragonsong War. They discuss their feelings about the story, gameplay, music, and of course, overall feelings on the content. They also went on a 14 hour marathon of XIV last Sunday, so Stormblood is quite underway. Enjoy!

Direct download: UFF_167_DragonsongWar3_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:09am MST

This week, Kaleb, Joe, and Craig sit down to discuss their rankings for the top villian of the series. We discuss the logic behind our numbered ranking, and dive into their in game presence. Craig rags on FFX, and I would hope you will all rage tweet him @obsidianbah to bring him to justice. We answer a couple of questions, and discuss Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. Enjoy!

Direct download: UFF_166_Best_Villians_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:56am MST

This week, in light of the soon to be released Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, Joe and Kaleb go over each of the differences between this version, and the original International version of the game. If you're on the fence about picking this bad boy up, stay tuned for all the reasons why you should join Schwiess with a playthrough of this beautiful remaster of a classic entry into the Final Fantasy series. Also, join us for Heavensward!

Direct download: UFF_165_Zodiacpreview_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, the guys invite another of their Patreon donors on for an invite. Join us for a trip down memory lane, as we revisit Chase's history with Final Fantasy. We discuss the recent Final Fantasy XV, the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and much more. Enjoy the grind, and we hope to see you in Final Fantasy XIV!

Direct download: UFF_164_Chase_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe, joined by Emilee Mentos, Krinital, and Zoey for a fun filled discussion of our experience with Heavensward. Enjoy!

Development

 

Heavensward began development about a year before its release on June 23, 2015, just a few months before its October announcement at the 2014 fan festival (which we were totally there for).

 

Apparently they chose the theme of “sky” for the expansion, my assumption being y'know, dragons, wings, flying mounts… Anyway the developers strategically set up the expansion through ARR patches throughout the year, setting up Ishgard Lore.

 

Along with an expansion of story, the game utilized Directx 11 technologies to better process the game and to slightly enhance the story.

 

The Heavensward expansion would continue through the Dragonsong War campaign released through patches that now lead to stormblood, but this review will only be covering the game’s original release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Story (took this from an awesome forum post on reddit)

 

Basically, you go into Ishgard wanting to help them against the Dragons, venturing through the Western Highlands dealing with the heretics and Iceheart/Shiva. Then there's this little segment of finding out where Rauhban is and you free him, fight Ilberd and that stupid Lalafell Yuyuhase, and you also find out, from Lolorito himself, that Nanamo is still alive.

 

Once all that's settled, you return to Ishgard, deal with a few things and, along with Estinien, eventually get to the Dravanian Forelands and get assistance through the Vath who need you to kill Ravana first, then dragonkin that Iceheart/Shiva knows to head up to the Churning Mists to get help from Hraesvelgr.

 

You go through Sohm Al, the peak of the mountain in the Forelands and enter the Churning Mists, you help the Moogles up there at Moghome a bit and get the trumpet they use to head to Zenith to call down Hraesvelgr and ask him for help/assistance.

 

Hrasevelgr basically tells you that in the past, Ishgard was a peaceful kingdom, dragons and humans lived in peace. Until King Thordan and the 12 Knights killed Ratatoskr, one of Midgardsormr's first brood, and ate her eyes. Nidhogg heard of this, and vowed to kill every last human, basically dragons rule.

 

You also learn that Nidhogg got one of his current eyes from Hraesvelgr. To end the war between man and dragonkin, you need to kill Nidhogg. So you go kill him, get his other eye and return it back to Hrasevelgr. Nidhogg is seemingly dead. At this point, you learn, through the Echo, that all of Ishgard is of the same blood, from when Haldrath had slayed Nidhogg the first time, and learn that everyone is not lowborn or highborn.

 

So you head back to Ishgard with this juicy gossip, talk to Aymeric and it turns out there's an Elezen/Hyuran woman called 'the Mongrel' who basically is born from a lowborn Hyuran servantwoman and a highborn Elezen. In Ishgard, that's taboo, you don't have mixed children between highborn and lowborn. So at this point, Ser Charibert, one of the 12 Knights, finds out you're plotting to tell, you fight him, and then Ser Aymeric decides to go confront King Thordan about it and from the new info, that we now learn that Thordan is Ser Aymeric's father, but born out of wedlock, makes Aymeric Thordan's bastard son.

 

Eventually, you make it to the Vault, where Thordan and Aymeric are, and battle against a few of the 12 Knights and save Aymeric. In the process, Haucherfant dies protecting you from the beam of light from Ser Zephirin. You learn of Azys Lla at this point, and eventually head to Ok' Zundu, to talk to the Vanu Vanu about Bismarck, as you learn of an Allagan key that tells you how to get ot Azys Lla.

 

Bismarck going crazy eating islands, you make a plan to kill him. But Thordan jumps in, takes the key from you and heads to Azys Lla. Cid having noticed the direction of where the key is headed, heads towards there.

 

We make it to Azys Lla but it is protected by massive aether walls, at this point, there's no advancement into Azys Lla. You learn that Tataru has possible good news about one of the Scions, with the help of Urianger, you find out Y'shtola used Flow, a forbidden spell that lets oneself enter and stay in the aether, when they were being chased by Brass Blades.

 

With the help of A-Ruhn-Senna, Kan-E-Senna and Raya-O-Senna, you manage to get Y'shtola out of the aether and ask her if she could possibly help. She says Matoya, her old mentor, can help, as she is in Sharlayan, you venture to Sharlayan. Arriving at the Dravanian Hinterlands, where Sharlayan is, you need to cross the river to get to Matoya's Cave, which is hidden.

 

Going to Idyllshire, within Sharlayan, you find out goblins have worked alongside treasure hunters to rebuild Sharlayan, or rather what's left of it, with the assistance of Goblins and the residents of Idyllshire, you make it to the other side of the river.

 

You go see Matoya and she asks you to go grab a tome on the subject of manifesting aether as a tangible form, from the Great Gubal Library. You come back with the tome and she deciphers it for you, you take the new information to Cid, Biggs and Wedge and eventually, with the new information, arrive at Azys Lla.

 

At Azys Lla, with the help of a Assistance Node, you make it to the Aetherochemical Research Facility where Thordan awaits, but not before the Garleans interrupt you with their massive ship. But Shiva and Hrasevelgr jump in and stall their plans.

 

You go into the facility and get interrupted by Lahabrea and Igeyorhm. You fight them, they merge, you fight 'it'. And then, with the Eye of Nidhogg and white magicite, you kill Igeyorhm. But Thordan shows up, with Haldrath's coffin and the SECOND Eye of Nidhogg and uses it and your other eye to basically summon King Thordan and the Knights twelve; Knights of the Round, more or less.

 

You slay King Thordan and the Knights twelve, Estinien succumbs to Nidhogg's eyes, and turns into Nidhogg. Now, brief peace is brought to Ishgard, and Ishgard joins the Eorzean Alliance. You now learn that Elidibus has 'summoned' a Warrior of Darkness on the moon.

 

Then a big primal is awoken at the end, teasing DragonSong.

Direct download: UFF_163_Heavensward_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, the guys gather to discuss their dislike towards Final Fantasy movies. They dive into why the movies aren't good, and offer discussion points for how to improve them. We also ask the audience to discuss what their favorite FF film is, and what game they would like to see turned into a film. Enjoy the Grind!

Direct download: UFF_162_Whatswrongwithffmovies_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Joe runs the two Kalebs through multiple fan theories that have been discussed throughout the years in regards to the Final Fantasy series. Is Garland the same person in I and IX? Are Final Fantasy III and VI connected? Is Final Fantasy X in the same universe as VII? Find out!

Direct download: UFF_161_Fantheories_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, special guests @Wanderingflame @krinital and @metunnica join forces to discuss the 2013 Mobile release All The Bravest. Kaleb and Joe open things up discussing their Heavensward progress, in addition to their attempted, and failed, rush of the main story. Enjoy the guest Grind!

Direct download: UFF_160_AlltheBravest_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe dive into the final On the Way to a Smile episode. This one, as you've probably guessed, is based off of the Lifestream. This bad boy does a great job of connecting the story of Final Fantasy VII to Advent Children. The guys also jump into a few questions, read a review, and ask for your "essential playing" list for Final Fantasy XIV. Enjoy!

Direct download: UFF_159_EpisodeLifestream_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe finish things up with Lightning Returns. They discuss the look of the game, the soundtrack, the game's legacy, and dive into listener reviews and questions. Enjoy the conclusion to our playthrough of the 13 series, and join us in Eorzia!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO8DzhYNFYI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfDoBy-Qj4Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkPw1h70Xgs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgxHEXUy6Sw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2o_3jUAjXo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dEkLe5714U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PysWCcTMYkI

Direct download: UFF_158_LightingReturns_Part2_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

The day is finally upon us; Lightning Returns is finished. Join Kaleb and Joe as they dive into the story/gameplay sections of the game. They also dive into the extremely rushed development history behind this title, and go into the connection to Versus XIII and ultimately Final Fantasy XV. Enjoy!

 

The Remixes: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO8DzhYNFYI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfDoBy-Qj4Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkPw1h70Xgs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgxHEXUy6Sw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2o_3jUAjXo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dEkLe5714U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PysWCcTMYkI

 

 

 

Direct download: UFF_157_LightningReturns_Part1_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

Since the guys (Joe) didn't manage to finish Lightning Returns, they invite long-time listener, and avid Final Fantasy IX fan, Skoll Hati onto the show. The guys discuss Skoll's history with the series, and talk about how Skoll came upon the podcast. The two face off in the epic Stump the Host segment. Will Joe suffer yet another defeat at the hands of a listener, or will Skoll fall? Find out! 

Direct download: UFF_156_SkollHati_mixdown2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe learn about Square and Enix during the tail end of the nineties. This time period would be a booming success for one of the two, and more than a little disappointing for the other. The guys also talk about what they'd do differently if they were to start the podcast over again, and dive into the future of the show. Enjoy the Grind!

 

The Remix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9oyQTKUmZU

Direct download: UFF_155_HistoryofSquareEnixPart8_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, the guys review the second to last On the Way to a Smile episode. Join them for the epic reveal of how Rufus survived that cannon blast, how depression leads to the stigma, and all about that sweet, sweet healin' lodge. Enjoy the grind. Special thanks to The Lifestream!

The Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhamKhz-sZM&t=2s

Direct download: UFF_154_OTWTASCaseofShinra_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe discuss possible alternatives to Final Fantasy. Not everyone is pleased with the direction that the Final Fantasy series has gone in, and we delve into potential alternative series' to cure your achy Final Fantasy heart. This topic comes off of a Tales of Zestiria review that was filled with callbacks to the early Final Fantasy games. We discuss the ever-evolving nature of the Final Fanatasy series, and talk about whether or not we think change is good. Enjoy the grind!

Remix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6VEKVKYzIA

 

Direct download: UFF_153_FFAlternatives_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, we discuss a recently published interview featuring Hajime Tabata. Tabata discusses the transition between Versus XIII to Final Fantasy XV. We pick apart the interview and discuss the most interesting aspects of it. Kaleb goes unhinged at Hope's incessant need to hear his own voice in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, and Joe admits he still hasn't touched the game. Enjoy the Grind!

Direct download: UFF_152_Tabatasresponse_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe touch base on a listener requested topic. They discuss the differences between the US version of Final Fantasy VII, and the original Japanese version. They give their thoughts on each difference, while also diving into which version they prefer (from the sound of things) based on these differences. They then once again discuss their thoughts on potential remakes of earlier games. Oh, and we give a little opinion piece on a few Disturbed songs while we're at it. Enjoy the Grind!

 

Final Fantasy VII Differences: https://thelifestream.net/ffvii-the-original/ffvii-version-guide/jorg-versus-post-jorg/

Direct download: UFF_151_FF7Internationaldifferences_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Joe and Kaleb invite longtime friend, and listener, Banedrom on for an episode. The guys bypass news and questions this week to get right into the deep, and friendly conversation with Banedrom. They talk not only Final Fantasy, but podcasts in general. Enjoy the Grind!

Direct download: UFF_150_Banedrom_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, we tackle yet another On the Way to a Smile tale. This time, it's Red XIII. Join us for all the trans-species laughs. We also take the time to catch up on our reviews. Thank you all for listening, and make sure to subscribe to TheLifestream on Youtube!

 

Episode Nanaki: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiEHB2VjLrM&t=2s

Direct download: UFF_149_Nanaki_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe play catch-up after last week's Final Fantasy XIII-2 review. They discuss a few articles of Final Fantasy news, including the newly priced Final Fantasy XII: HD Remaster, and a few details on the Final Fantasy VII Remake. Enjoy the laughs!

Direct download: UFF_148_BadFFJokes_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe dive deep into the sequel to Final Fantasy XIII. Well, the first sequel that is. 

 

Development:

Final Fantasy XIII-2 was released on December 15th 2011 in Japan, and January 31st 2012 in the United States. The game was developed and published by our very own Square Enix, though fellow RPG developer tri-Ace was brought into assist with the games programming, art, and design. You may know tri-Ace from titles such as the Star Ocean series and Valkyrie Profile. Development for Final Fantasy XIII-2 began sometime around March or Arpil 2010. Most of the key designers and management team came over from Final Fantasy XIII, including director Motomu Toriyama and composer Masashi Hamauzu. Naoshi Mizuta and Mitsuto Suzuki also assisted with the soundtrack. The game has sold around 3.1 million copies as of January 2013. 300,000 copies have been sold through Steam, where it was released on December 11, 2014.

Toriyama originally intended XIII-2 to take place a whopping 900 years after the original game. Once he realized how much of a pain in the ass establishing a backstory for this time gap would be, he decided to make it a time travel game. He wanted Lightning to be happy one day, and felt the need to have Serah take a more active role, since she was crystallized in the first Final Fantasy XIII. Apparently the early concept had Serah travelling alone with Mog. Yoshinori Kitase felt that the dialogue between these two characters was quite girly, almost camp and a bit over the top”, so they developed the character Noel. They didn’t want the stark tonal difference that we see between Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, so they went for a much darker storyline. The team also learned a few other things, and decided to avoid using l’Cie and fal’Cie, as they deemed them difficult to understand. Interestingly enough, there was initially a plan to link the story of Final Fantasy Type-0 to Final Fantasy XIII-2 via Valhalla, but these plans were discarded.

 

Setting Up the Plot:

Final Fantasy XIII-2 takes place a whopping three years after the events of Final Fantasy XIII. At this point, Sanctum has collapsed, and Cocoon’s inhabitants have moved down to Gran Pulse. Sanctum has been replaced by the technocratic government known as the Academy, run by none other than Hope Estheim. The game jumps around multiple different time periods, even including parallel versions of the same places. These are accessed via the Historia Crux. The game takes place mostly on Gran Pulse and Cocoon, but players also visit the Void Beyond, a sort of limbo between time periods, and Valhalla; the capital of the goddess Etro. Valhalla is located at the end of time where Etro stores the dark energy Chaos from destroying the timeline.

 

Story:

 

Paradoxes are popping up all across the timeline, and our heroine of Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning, has been written out of history, and only Serah remembers that she came back with the pary after Lightning and co saved Cocoon. Serah settles down in New Bodhum, but can’t shake the feeling that her sister lives on. It turns out that the mysterious energy known as Chaos, dragged Lightning to Valhalla. This was a result of Etro releasing Lightning and her friends from their crystal status as a thank you for saving Cocoon. Etro closed the gate between realms to keep Chaos out, but then fell into a deep sleep. Lightning is now Etro’s Knight, charged with protecting her from Caius Ballad, a bad man who wants to kill Etro to destroy the timeline. Caius was made immortal by Etro when she gave him her heart, known as the Heart of Chaos.

Lightning, realizing that she needs a hand since she’s caught in an unending battle with Caius, reaches out to a young man named Noel Kreiss for help. Noel, who was chosen by Etro to become a time traveler, gets sent to New Bodhum to find Serah and bring her to Lightning. Noel meets up with Serah and finds out that she can see visions of the future, and is also allowed to use time gates, and access the Historia Crux. Noel and Serah travel the world to different eras solving paradoxes along the way. Their objective is to prevent the shit-tastic future that Noel comes from. He is the last man at the end of the world, after all. This happens in a timeline where the crystallized Cocoon fell from the sky. When Hope Estheim learns of this timeline, he sets out to prevent Cocoon’s eventual planet shattering fall.

While our party is out and about, they learn that Snow has also become a time traveler, which is why he never returned from XIII’s ending as well. This is when the party first learns about Yeul, a seeress protected by her immortal guardian Caius, until the last Yeul died in Noel’s time period. Noel is disturbed by meeting various Yeuls throughout his adventures, since he wanted to become the Guardian to Yeul from his timeline. Yeul’s soul isn’t able to return to the chaos of the unseen world, and she is continually reincarnated with Caius as her Guardian as “blessed” by Etro. Seeing Yeul die over and over drove Caius mad, and spurred his desire to collapse the timeline in order to end Yeul’s cycle of suffering. Caius then creates paradoxes along the timeline to cultivate the perfect conditions in which to let Chaos consume the mortal realm. Our pary sets out to stop them, even after discovering that Serah also has the power of the seeress, which eats away at her very existence with every vision she has. These are triggered by the changes in the timeline through solving paradoxes.

Serah and Noel finally meet up with Lightning, and move in on Caius. The party first fights him in 500 AF Academia, and then in Valhalla. Once Caius is defeated, he tells the party that he’s killed Lightning, and then impales himself on Noel’s sword, killing the already weakened Etro. The party returns to Academia in 500 af, where Vanille and Fang have been rescued from the falling pillar. We also see a very Titan AE esque new Cocoon called “Bhunivelze”. Serah then dies in front of Noel from the shock of the changes. The sky is rent asunder by dark clouds, and Chaos breaks free into the realm, and permanently warps things. Noel then realizes that they did exactly what Caius wanted by destroying the Heart of Chaos, and though Etro died, Caius is still alove and bound to the chaos. Serah’s dying spirit assures lightning that they will see each other again, and we then get a scene showing Lightning on the throne in Crystal Stasis on the throne in Etro’s temple. If you take the time to complete the additional storylines in the game, you get an additional scene showing Caius on the throne stating that the goddess is gone forever, and that he and Yeul can begin a life without their curses.



Gameplay:

The game features many of the combat elements of its predecessor, resurrecting the Paradigm and crystarium systems. It also introduces a system that allows players to capture beasts to fight alongside protagonists Serah and Noel. XIII-2 features a modified version of the old school random battles. Enemies will randomly appear on the map, and a timer spawns. The player can attack monsters before the time runs out, starting the battle with a preemptive strike. Battles take place similarly to Final Fantasy XIII, though you do have the option to switch party leaders. A game over is obtained once all human players have been defeated. The paradigm system offers stat increases, and isn’t locked like in Final Fantasy XIII. Beasts that have been captured are also leveled up, and have their own crystarium branches, though materials purchased from Chocobolina or collected through battles. Monsters have their own form of limit breaks, known as Feral Links, and vary from beast to beast. Final Fantasy XIII-2 also originated the Wound Damage. This is where a target members max HP can only be restored through healing items (we’re looking at you, Final Fantasy XV). Final Fantasy XIII-2 also uses Cinematic Action sequences that force the player to mash buttons. Conversations also have variants, as the player gets to choose what response to give. There are also Temporal Rifts. These are puzzle-esque minigames necessary to advance.

 

Remixes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhODT_HsPdg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvzbPhcM2Nw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkyBeHF3vXs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq_QGAAUbzE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcP6tTTcD1w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOp4hob-4oE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBeiuhb36RY

 

Direct download: UFF_137_FinalFantasyXIII-2_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Joe, Schweiss, and Craiggers react to the popular 4-chan blog chain from a supposed member of Final Fantasy XV's Development team. The group dissects the information, and gives their take on the whole thing. We also get Kaleb Craig's thoughts on the game as a whole. Enjoy the Grind!!

The Remix: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmTRBuZuTiw

Direct download: UFF_146_Fromversusto15_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Joe and Kaleb follow up on the poll introduced in the prior weeks episode; the Final Fantasy Academy Awards! Join us as we read the results for Best Custscene, Best Minigame, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Final Fantasy that Never Was, Best Production Design, Best Original Song, Best Director, Best Final Fantasy, Best Sequel Script, Best Graphics for It's Time, Best original Script, Best Voice Acting, Best Costume Design, Best Final Fantasy Movie/TV Show, Best Supporting Character, and Best Leading Character. Enjoy the Grind!

Direct download: UFF_155_FFAcademyAwards_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49pm MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe finally dive into the Final Fantasy Academy Awards question brought to us by our good friend Battttttman2j. We decided on the nominees for each category. Here are the categories: Best Cutscene, Best Minigame, Production Design, Best Original Song, Makeup & Hairstyling, Best FF's that never were, Best Director, Best Voice Acting, Best Graphics for it's time, Best Original Script, Best Sequel Script, and Best Final Fantasy. Check out our website Ultimafinalfantasy.com to vote! Enjoy the awards season grind! 

Direct download: UFF_144_FFAcademyAwardsNominations_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:24pm MST

This week, Kaleb and Joe discuss their experience with the Final Fantasy convention KupoCon. They also discuss their experience with New York, reminisce about Distant Worlds, and review the mass amount of Final Fantasy news. We also have the recording of our panel at the con. Enjoy the grind!

Direct download: UFF_143_Kupocon_2017_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, Joe and Kaleb continue their review of the long awaited Final Fantasy XV. We discuss our thoughts on the games Art/Design, praising it for it's overall good graphics. We talk about the music by Yoko Shimomura, who also worked on Parasite Eve. Then we get to listener questions, which range from favorite Final Fantasy XV boss, to just how dirty the Cup Noodle quest made us feel. We top things off with a few listener reviews, and Kaleb and Joe use these to establish Final Fantasy XV's current legacy. We then talk about our overall rankings for the Final Fantasy series. Enjoy the grind!

Direct download: UFF_142_FinalFantasyXVPartTwo_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This episode, Kaleb and Joe discuss the long awaited Final Fantasy XV. They cover the games story and gameplay elements. We do a deep dive into the slightly ambiguous ending to the game, and talk about why we think both outcomes are valid. We then talk about the gameplay. We discuss our favorite quests and hunts, and talk about our overall feelings towards the insanely different combat in Final Fantasy XV. Enjoy the Grind!

Direct download: UFF_141_FinalFantasyXVPartOne_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

Welcome special guest Daniel! We discuss our love of Final Fantasy, and enjoy another game of Stump the Host. Join us as we take a trip down memory lane, and learn about Daniel's rich, and long lived, love of the series. Joe also gets called an old man for his views on the Final Fantasy VII Remake. Enjoy the Grind! Final Fantasy XV Review is incoming!!

Direct download: UFF_140_Daniel_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, we bring you the results for the 2016 Podcast Awards! Congrats to She Heals, I Tank for winning the Best Non-UFF 2016 Final Fantasy Podcast Award. Final Fantasy XV was voted the best Final Fantasy release of 2016, and the Audience Maximus awards go to Krinital, Shinryu, and Troy Cavanaugh. Congrats on the wins, guys. We look forward to another year of Ultima Final Fantasy!

Direct download: UFF_139_2016UFFPodcastAwards.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

This week, the guys dig deep into the intricacies of deciding whether or not your favortie Final Fantasy is your first one. They also toy with the idea of favorite Final Fantasy vs Best Final Fantasy. Should they be the same? Should they differ? Does it even matter?!?!! Find out on this weeks episode of Ultima Final Fantasy!

Direct download: UFF_138_FavoriteFirst_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am MST

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