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Mass spoilers ahead. The spoiler-related screenshots will be linked rather than shown as thumbnails on here. Whatever is a spoiler will be strikethrough.
Consequently, this is also the last BDFF “advertising” post I’ll be able to do. I never did photos beyond the first few minutes of the final (true ending) chapter because I figured there would be no need.
I’ve actually had Bravely Default: Flying Fairy completed a few days ago, just like any unreasonable fangirl, I had to become emotional over fiction before opting to finally discuss it. The fact it’s not (yet) localized prevents me from having an adequate amount of people to discuss it with. Until then, consider this free advertising for Square Enix to drum up hype for the lot of you all. This will also include details on the ending/thoughts on it. You’ve been warned.
So the game dumps you through a series of cycles after chapter 4 — It does this for chapters 5 - 8, depending on what ending you’re going for. This is the low point of the game because it makes you fight all four Crystal Shrine bosses again and, optionally, all of the Jobmasters.
Doing the subquest for Anazel — which is usually required for most of the cycles — allows Ringabell to start regaining his memory and essentially has him start acknowledging that he’s Anazel D from another dimension.
Yes, it’s tedious as hell and not really that fun, but the game does reward you with bonus scenarios for certain bosses. It also rewards you with some of the best equips in the game (a lot of them you need to steal, however) and even shuffles up some bosses.
In the instance of my 3/4 KO’d party, that was a result of the game tossing Einherjar, Mefirea, and Artemis together in a single fight. Yeah, I was probably being too hot blooded for that fight to be such a trainwreck, but I wound up soloing the fight with Ringabell on Dark Knight/Knight, Edea’s Time Mage passive ability “World Haste” making it possible overall.
You’re free to laugh, because any combination of Dark Knight and Magic Swordsman destroys most of the game’s bosses. Superstar class is also very overpowered once you realize buffs stack. Dark Knight class alone is pretty overpowered with Death Wish + Insanity, albeit it’s risky constantly dropping your HP to 1.
The dragon bosses you see are basically the keystones Lester mentioned for gaining access to his castle. I won’t bother detailing where they are, because it’s pretty obvious and I figure I’d like to leave some surprises in the game for the lot of you.
There’s six of them, each a different element (fire, ice, earth, wind, light, darkness). The light one looks like a chicken so I felt obligated to include a photo of it. Yeah. Chicken.
Lester’s castle is filled with tons of annoying shit, as cool as it looks. There’s Cerberus enemies that carry physical counters, Zubats bats that spam confusion. Confound Pokemon for inspiring an entire genre to make a particularly annoying enemy look the same regardless of what game I’m playing. Oh, and there’s Liliths that spam charm status, but at least those drop like flies.
I barely remember how the fight went, other than the fact I solo’d that as well with the same setup in the Venus Sisters fight. Once again, I was probably being too hot blooded because most if not all fights in the game have a very simple solution once you observe them.
Vampire class functions like Final Fantasy’s Blue Mage class in that you learn skills from enemies. It’s a pretty kickass class, even if I wound up never using it. 2ch will tell you for sure that it’s very useful. I’ll probably give it a spin in the localized release.
Airy being the one pulling the strings doesn’t surprise me too much considering she kept the party going with a carrot on a stick for several chapters while feigning ignorance. That, and Ringabell/Anazel’s flashbacks gave some heavy foreshadowing.
This leads to the inclusion of Ouroboros, the final boss of the game. This is the one time the track Serpent Eating the Horizon is used for a 5-round boss. Thankfully, Persona 3 has had me prepared for excessive number of rounds for a final boss. The only difference is, Ouroboros can actually be a threat in that the game isn’t generous in giving you Ribbons. If you haven’t been working on rebuilding Nolende, you’ll only get one Ribbon in the game itself. Ouroboros loves spamming instant death, so I’d make sure you have a White Mage on the party, honestly. I slapped the Ribbon onto Agnes as she was Summoner/White Mage for me so it made my life easier.
The ending rather surprised me, being a mixture of Persona 3 and Final Fantasy X. Airy’s sister reveals that Airy was just (obviously) leading the party on to destroy the world, but thanks them for preventing it anyway.
It’s also revealed that Tiz was running on the life force she gave him, as he expires in front of his sister’s gravestone in the end. Basically, he was dead to begin with, as it was suspicious for him to be the “sole” survivor of Nolende’s demise.
Ringabell returns to his own world to stop Airy, finally taking on his true name as Anazel D, and also trolling Rindea shippers like myself in the process. I’m not sure how Airy could exist in that world when it was implied she was only in one, but oh well. I’ll just assume he wound up happy with the Edea in his world, the guy needs the happy ending badly.
Overall, Bravely Default: Flying Fairy was a wonderful experience and probably one of the best JRPGs I’ve played in the past decade. It follows up after FFIX for my favorite JRPG and likely games overall.
Excellent art direction, a wonderful score done by the ever talented Revo, a likeable cast of characters, and fun gameplay. If I had to describe the game, it’s pretty much the love child of a threesome between FFIX, FFV, and Steins;Gate. I’m okay with this.
Might not be perfect to some, but for me, it strikes all the right aspects to make it an instant favorite in my book. Likely the case for others who miss JRPGs of the SNES and PS1 eras. Or if you just loved games like FFIX at all. It’s also proof Square Enix can still make good games (this and Type-0), just they typically make a lot of poor decisions that they wound up with an egg on their face. Oh well.