The DISSIDIA Saga Part One

DISSIDIA Final Fantasy

System: Sony PlayStation Portable

Developer/Publisher: Square Enix

Release: August 25th, 2009

The What: A crossover fighting game with action RPG elements featuring heroes, villains, summons, and supporting characters from Final Fantasy IXII.

The story is about the war between Cosmos, goddess of harmony, and Chaos, the god of discord. 

Cosmos

DISSIDIA tells the story of the 13th cycle of their war. To further their ends, they summon champions from other worlds to fight for them.

The game initially presents you with the first phase of the 13th cycle. You can choose to play the stories of the Warriors of Cosmos in any order. Each story has its own difficulty rating.

Each story functions as a sort of abridged version of the character’s struggle in their original game.

To prove their worth, Cosmos tells her Warriors to seek crystals. Each crystal is unlocked when the heroes experience an epiphany of some sort.

The Who – The Warriors of Cosmos

The Warrior of Light (Paragon), Firion (Weapons Specialist), the Onion Knight (Mystic Fencer), Cecil (Split Soul), Bartz Klauser (Mimic), Terra Branford (Esperkin), Cloud Strife (Buster Basher), Squall Leonhart (Relentless Revolver), Zidane (Aerial Ace), and Tidus (Spry Striker).

The Warriors of Chaos

Garland (Nemesis), the Emperor Mateus (Trap Master), the Cloud of Darkness (The Bane of Life), Goblez (Thaumaturge), Exdeath (Entropic Adversary), Kefka Palazzo (Mad Mage), Sephiroth (Focused Blade), Ultimecia (Sorceress Fusilieer), Kuja (Graceful Glider), and Jecht (Brutal Blitzer).

Gameplay Primer: DISSIDIA is an arena-based fighting game. The game is designed to be fun with destructible levels. As you destroy parts of the environments, you stand a chance to gain raw materials that can unlock new pieces of equipment.

You can get Summonstones that can be triggered automatically or manually. Auto Summonstones trigger under certain conditions. There are auto and manual versions of certain summons. The manual versions feature art from older games. Manual Summonstones usually feature greater effects than their auto counterparts.

HP damage in battle is only effective when the fighter has built up their Brave (BRV) total. BRV is gained by using BRV attacks, which do not do HP damage. When you BRV level is satisfactory, you can attempt an HP attack. But if you deplete an enemy’s BRV, they undergo Bravery Break, and you gain a huge boost to BRV.

BRV attacks are fast and furious, whereas HP attacks are lumbering with narrow ranges.

Limit Breaks are referenced with EX Mode and EX Bursts. EX Mode buffs characters with Regen, and each character has their own EX Burst that uses QTE’s to maximize damage.

Since you gain experience with each HP attack, you may level up in the middle of battles.

The game has an effective lock-on system, but it can be toggled on or off.

January 24th, 2010: I had to finish Firion’s Destiny Odyssey, which I suspended when I last played the game.

There are so many things I like about DISSIDIA, I’m not sure if I can pin down my favorite part. Maybe it’s how everything you do in the game counts in some way.

DISSIDIA wants you to play it consistently. To encourage this, the game has you choose a day of the week as a bonus day. On this day, the game rains down more bonus Gil, Ability Points (lets you learn new skills), XP, and PP (Player Points, which let you unlock extras such as new costumes, soundtracks, the Warriors of Chaos and two other secret characters, and player icons). You can also purchase multipliers for these bonuses with PP. It’s fun.

You can make other days of the week carry bonus multipliers, too.

With the help of those multipliers, Firion leveled up several times. I had never guessed that he would learn so many abilities.

Apparently, out of all of the unlocked characters, he has spent the most time in battle.

The game kept track of stats as well.

I don’t remember using Firion as one of my mains. I remember using Onion Knight, Terra, Squall, and Tidus a lot.

He’s not even one of my favorite FF characters.

I had yet to play Final Fantasy II at the time.

I really have no desire to play as the bad guys.

Sometimes, I don’t want to play as the bad guys in games. I snub them.

Character portraits change along with their alternate costumes.

Squall’s alt has him in the uniform from the SeeD graduation ceremony in Final Fantasy VIII.

January 25th, 2010: I tried to move on to the Shade Impulse scenarios, which are more difficult than the Destiny Odysseys.

When you beat all of the Destiny Odysseys, the Shade Impulses are unlocked.

When all of the heroes gain their crystals, Chaos kills Cosmos. Her death would have caused her Warriors to fade away – if they did not have their crystals. From then on, the Warriors regroup to defeat Chaos.

January 26th, 2010: Mognet is back in this game in a big way. Every day, moogles send you mail. PP and items come with the mail sometimes. They also ask you questions. It’s pretty fun!

If you had not played for a while, then the moogles would send you a letter talking about how much they missed you. Aww.

January 27th, 2010: I think the FF fan service is what keeps me coming back to this game.

Terra’s alt is much more faithful to Yoshitaka Amano’s original character design.

Whatever happened to those Final Fantasy XIII spinoffs?

Yeah, about those…One of them became –

January 28th, 2010: Characters say different things to each other in quick battles. For example, Onion Knight says to Tidus, “Don’t you ever get tired of laughing?”

Tidus is a really strong character in this game. I wonder if he and Cloud are too powerful.

I get Garland and Golbez confused all of the time.

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