What’s singlehandedly the best thing about Final Fantasy? The lore? The characters? The storylines?
Absolutely not, it’s the Chocobo!
These 8-foot chickens are almost as lovable as real-life puppies, so I was pretty upset when I finally got Final Fantasy XV that I couldn’t just jump straight on the back of one and ride off into the sunset.
So, you’ve got that little prologue thing where there are a few ‘roadblocks’ stopping you from exploring the world in it’s entirety from the off, but that’s pretty standard in open world games. Once you’ve finished chapter 2 and arrive at Coernix Station, Prompto will begin his childish yapping about wanting to go to the nearby Chocobo farm. You know, shit’s really hit the fan and Noct’s world is crumbling around him, he’s got the weight of an entire kingdom on his small, emo shoulders but sure, let’s go to a fucking farm and see some overfed dodos instead of pressing on and resolving the current predicament.
Seriously though, I couldn’t wait.
Upon our speedy and excitable arrival, the four of us skipped up the dirt path towards the main building and bumped into Wiz, the owner of the aptly named Wiz’s Chocobo Post. He explained the situation; that there’s a beast eating all of his poultry and that we need to go kill it. Again, pretty standard RPG stuff. #GoHereKillThis #GoThereKillThat
So both mine and Prompto’s desire to have our knackers smashed to bits on the back of an over exuberant ostrich pushed us further into the woods, hunting the ‘behemoth’ called Deadeye. He was easy enough to find, being the size of a house and all that, and when the eventual fight kicked off, I was ready – I’d crafted my fire spells, I’d collected my potions and I had my phoenix down elixirs ready to use too… I’m looking at you Ignis!!
Unfortunately, It didn’t quite go as planned. I expected it to be tough, I mean look at the size of him, but not as tough as I was finding it. Deadeye was knocking me down with one hit, and after fighting (err.. surviving) for over 20 minutes, I’d only knocked off about 1/5 of Deadeye’s HP.
So I paused the game and double-checked the recommended quest level… it was level 15.
It doesn’t sound too bad, right?
…I was level 6.
This overly muscular pitbull was throwing me around like a chew-toy for 20 minutes or so before I thought… “This isn’t right…”
Low and behold, I was forced to reload a save and soon set about XP grinding. Finishing all the quests Cindy had from back in Hammerhead, quests here and there for other people I can’t really remember the name of, (let’s face it, there’s something about Cindy that makes her so memorable) and started levelling up. Cue the music: Live To Win by Paul Stanley! Finally, I reached level 15 and it didn’t take too long to be honest, I’ve only clocked up around 9 hours according to the game but it does tick along when it’s paused too so it’s can’t be all that accurate.
Anyway, now that the four were much better prepared, and whilst our post-workout muscles bulged, we skipped hand-in-hand all the way back to Wiz, whilst experiencing a mild case of déjà vu, and trunched back into Deadeye’s lair.
Well, the rest is history…
The whole kerfuffle did make me smile though, as it’s not the first time in a game I’ve made the mistake of biting off more than I could chew. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was a prime example; I somehow ended up trying to kill Harrisi the spider at like level 3 whilst the game recommended I was level 33. I was more out of my depth that time than poor Frodo against Shelob! It was literally one of the first quests given to me and it only had me looking for a lost brother, so I just assumed it would be suited to a noob like me, and be less of a Dark Souls-esque soul-destroying moral dampener than it actually was.
No need to worry though, I’m happy bruising the inside of my thighs and buttocks as I sprint around the lands on the back of my tall, overexcitable Torchic.
So, have you made any mistakes like this, had your ass handed to you multiple times before realising that you just weren’t ready for it? Let me know!