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  3. Wacky challenge run: 4 Mutants, No Abilities or Mana-based items

User Info: BareknuckleRoo

3 years ago#1
So, for interested folks, here's a rundown of a challenge run I recently did to see how mutants stack up to humans if they're deprived of abilities and aren't allowed to use spells. The rules:

• No ability usage allowed. This is a bit annoying as you can't reordermutant abilities and items like you can in FFL2, and the cursor doesn't remember your selection between battles, so you constantly have to tap at least four spaces down for every character per fight to select the same thing you've been using. Useful passive abilities in this game such as O-Damage are rare, but since you can't control what you receive, passive abilities are OK to take advantage of when you get them (they're not that useful anyways as resistances are easily obtained in this game).

• No Mana-based items or spells allowed. You can't use anything that relies on your Mana stat, from spellbooks, healing items such as the Rod, or even the weapons such as the P-Sword and the Vampic Sword. Essentially, you can only use whatever a human would be able to use (STR and AGI weapons, Guns, Martial Arts, potions).

It's doable on a Game Boy, but because of the way mutants have to constantly scroll past their abilities to select weapons, to make it more convenient (and reduce the risk of accidentally using an ability in battle), I used the Fledermaus utility at Tower Reversed to make some edits to the game: http://towerreversed.org/download.html

Specifically, I changed all mutant abilities in the ability table to be blank, so there's no way to risk using an ability in battle by accident. It also means in battle the selection cursor will always be at the top of their 4 item slots, which is convenient for levelling up. The ONLY ability I left in the table was X-Fire, because unlike the other abilities X-Fire is disadvantageous, and removing the weakness to fire from the table would technically make the game easier (it never became a factor though - by the time I encounter enemies using Fire spells, I have Dragon Armor on all characters for immunity). I also edited the starting male mutant to remove the Stealth ability.

WORLD 1: Started with a male mutant, added 3 more to my team. Early on was relatively easy, and a matter of simply bashing away and buying Potions as stats rose. You can't rely on the Inn as if you gain HP after the fight with multiple mutants it may be more than you can afford! Potions early game are the way to go. Was eventually able to upgrade to Bows which are fantastic early on (inexpensive and damaging). For armor, I equipped Bronze Helmets and Bronze Armors as I could afford them. the other two slots I saved for a weapon and heal potions. I only rarely filled three of their four slots with armor as gloves normally weren't worthwhile.

Relatively easy beating the bandit P-Frog because Bow doesn't trigger its counterattack. Was eventually able to buy a Punch for one of my mutants which was nice to have as it lasts a long time and is quite effective. Early on, Mutants gain stats at an alarming rate compared to Humans who have to save up for stat potions - my Mutants were incredibly powerful, and all their money went to equipment since they didn't have to use stat potions! I slowly saved up for more Punches, because I knew those would remain useful for a long time.

Got the armor from the Armor King, Sword King went down easily to having his face punched in. Gen-Bu got beat up soon after, went down without much fuss (threw a potion or two during the fight when he used Gas, but all my mutants had about 120+ HP at this point, so it was trivial).

User Info: BareknuckleRoo

3 years ago#2
WORLD 2: Trip up the tower wasn't too bad. Gold Armor for the first two mutants, Punches got the job done, and filling up my inventory with Potions was sufficient for healing. There was a bit of a scare when I got near the door to the second world and I met group after group of enemies on the floor - having to fight 4 to 6 enemies multiple times in a row was a nuisance, but thanks to my mutants and their natural Def growth, they were considerably tankier than a Human would have been.

Immediately hit town and stocked up on SMGs. SMGs are amazing for Humans, being their first group attack weapon. Four mutants packing SMGs is no less impressive, and I entered the tower again and levelled on the floor outside the world 2 door. The encounters there are pretty easy, and enemies like Worms give tons of gold per fight. In FFL1, Mutants level up at the same rate regardless of what they use too, so using guns was just as easy as using magic at this point to level up. I also made sure to reduce their Punch uses down to around 30 or so to give me an effective single-target attack.

Tons of money earned, was able to save up and buy three suits of Silver Armor. Also stocked up on X-Potions now instead of Potions. There's really only three HP recovery items in the game for humans (and non-magic using mutants): Potions, X-Potions, and Elixirs. Elixirs CANNOT be used in battle, so effectively all late game battles are a damage race as you can't outheal the damage (humans can technically get those boots later on that boost Mana but the amount isn't enough to give them any real spellcasting ability).

Raided the undersea castle, got that 4th Silver Armor and the Grenades. The castle is a drain on resources and it helped to carry a few extra SMGs. Dropped the Cure book, since who needs magic?! My mutants had about 200-250 HP each at this point when Sei-Ryu got punched and gunned down. Punch at around 20 uses left was still better than any of the swords were for single target damage so I didn't pick up any Katanas before leaving.

WORLD 3: I made sure to carry a couple Needles with me as I went up the tower. I had a scary moment where two mutants went down during a fight because I wasn't properly keeping track of HP, but thankfully I was near the recovery area (the room with a ton of beds that has an Inn and a House of Life). SMGs sadly lose their usefulness quickly as enemy Def reduces its damage. Made it to the third world, Sirens are obnoxious when they use Armor as you pretty much have to run at that point, it takes too long to kill them otherwise. I saved up enough money during the trip up to buy a few suits of Dragon Armor, as well as more Grenades, then fought the Mosquitos for the Glider.

At this point I got a bit more cash from the larger enemy groups in the Tower, and loaded up on Grenades, filling up most of my inventory with them (as well as a Bazooka or two I picked up from the secret town). Instead of doing the third world immediately, I backtracked down the Tower, conserving my Grenades so as to do some power-levelling. Went down the tower to the 4th floor where that room with the spikes and the Gargoyles is. This is my favorite spot to level a full-mutant team as it's easy to deal with, and the low money they drop isn't an issue (it's just enough to get a little bit back as long as you're not using super expensive weapons). Mutants don't level up based on enemy strength in FFL1, so all that matters is the number of fights you win, regardless of the enemies.

Grenades and Bazookas are easy and convenient as they're one-hit kills on Gargoyles. I levelled up a crazy amount here, to the point where I was packing 600+ HP on my characters, with a few boasting maxed out Mana stats (not that it helped me!). Went back to World 3, bought a Silver Sword for one mutant, gave the rest more Bazookas. This was about the point where swords were more convenient for damage than martial arts were.

User Info: BareknuckleRoo

3 years ago#3
Did the stuff to do here (it's a pretty short World, shortest in game), got jailed, stole all the items from the jail (instead of forgetting to go back for them like I sometimes do...). After selling things, all mutants had Dragon Armor and Bazookas. A couple had Giant Gloves, and I had a few Elixirs handy for the trip up the tower. Went and murdered Byak-Ko who was trivial after some rockets to the face.

World 4: One major disadvantage mutants have over humans in the trip up the tower is their Mana stat. Slime-type enemies who use Melt actually do MORE damage on characters with high mana, so my mutants remained particularly susceptible to this. I had to be careful around them, and my healing got pretty depleted by the time I made it to the world of ruins. Had to run a couple times from Su-Zaku before making it in the tunnel. Getting to town was uneventful, but sadly my equipment wasn't cutting it. Enemies in World 4 have a lot of Def, so my Bazookas sadly don't do as much damage as I'd like, and there's a lack of lucrative enemy groups here for levelling. Stuff also happens to be pretty expensive if you're a human.

In town, I bought a Balkan (a mistranslation of a Vulcan cannon), a couple Army helmets, and a Suit. Army Helmet + Dragon Armor is a pretty strong combo for a mutant. I bought the Suit for later; I don't use it since it doesn't have the magical resistances the Dragon Armor has, but I want it for later. The Balkans are decently powerful, but the higher enemy Def and HP as well as enemy damage output here means they aren't quite as fearsome as SMGs used to be.

Went to the hidden town to pick up the ROM, then got the BOARD. Bought a Dragon Sword (which was basically all I could afford). I wasn't doing well - I should have gone back down the tower to get some cash at spots where the enemies are easier, because the items in the 4th world are super expensive (save for the spellbooks we can't use). However, feeling cocky I went to the Power Plant to fight the Machine. Mutants still had just over 600 max HP or so. Two of them were using Bazookas, one had a Silver Sword still and my last-row Mutant had a Dragon Sword with 80 or so Str.

The climb up wasn't too bad, beat the eyeball with no trouble. Got the (head)Band from So-Cho. This is the best piece of head armor in the game - massive Def boost, and provides O-All, making you immune to every element. I immediately put this on my 1st position mutant along with the Suit I'd bought, which gives a better body armor boost than the Dragon Armor.

The Machine was a tense fight - it didn't actually do much damage, wasting turns with Beam and D-Beam, but I also was barely doing 100 damage a high with my swords, and less with Balkans/Bazookas. It went down though without any casualties, for which I was very thankful.

Back to town. There's a period here where you can't access the shop where Balkans are sold until you kill Su-Zaku as everyone in town is dead. Hoping my resources would last me, I went and bought a few elemental swords for my other mutants, and proceeded up the huge skyscraper to kill Su-Zaku. I tried to find the Hyper Cannon but forgot where it was and missed it. Oops. The climb up was tricky - it's a serious drain on your limited healing resources, and several fights I had to limp through without restoring back to full health so that I could try and squeeze as much out of my Elixirs as possible.

Eventually made it to Su-Zaku who was a total joke. He kept trying to roast us, and with all members immune to fire, he just wasted turns. Hah.

User Info: BareknuckleRoo

3 years ago#4
At this point, being limited in inventory space rather hurt. Humans have either 5 or 4 slots for weapons depending on if they're wearing boots or not, whereas mutants should have at least a helmet and armor in the front row to be able soak up damage. You can sometimes get away with equipping just one piece of armor for the back row mutants since they're targetted less, but I made sure everyone had Dragon Armor and Army Helmets equipped at least. For weapons, I ditched the Balkans. They wouldn't help in the climb up the tower at this point, so I opted to get the cash for elemental swords. I had Flame, Elec, Ice and even two Dragon Swords - each mutant had two swords to swing so usually I could hit for some weakness. Dragon Swords are great, and do additional damage as well as insta criticals to a lot of enemy classes, including the dangerous Medusa/Lamia enemy class. My Str stat for my mutants was nearly at 99 for all of them at this point, along with their Agi, so they were more or less as effective as humans (in the Game Boy version of FFL1 humans can actually drink potions above the 99 limit, usually to about 230 or so or you risk rolling over, whereas in the Wonderswan Color version humans are capped at 99 as far as I know).

Inventory filled up with a bunch of Elixirs in preparation for the remaining climb up the tower. The swords proved effective on the way up as there weren't too many huge number groups, and the Flame Sword criticals on the slime enemies was hugely useful.

Two items to pick up here: the Door (which is found in one of the staircases between floors) and the N.Bomb, which is the strongest attack in the game. I could've saved item space and gotten the N.Bomb later, but I didn't want to backtrack too much. There's also the Glass Sword which is very powerful, but because of the weird change in the US version to give it 50 uses instead of only 1 use, I decided to ignore it and try and beat the game without the Glass Sword.

I made it to the top of the tower, then immediately used the Door to go down and do a bit of restocking in the third World. Bought some Bazookas, then went back to the Gargoyle levelling area on the fourth floor of the tower. Some levelling later... and I ended up with about 700 HP average. Time to fight Ashura! Used the last charge on the Door to warp up to his floor.

Ashura is brutal. He has huge Def, O-All, several multihit physical attacks that will score 1 or possibly 2-hit kills, and a powerful Flare spell. He's undead for some reason, so while the Vampic sword won't work, the Book spellbook (Flare-strength attack that works only on undead) will work, or you can simply Flare him to death. Monsters can also turn into the slime class of enemies which, at this point in the game, are by far the best monsters. Melt will completely destroy Ashura.

Sadly, our mutants don't get any of those choices. I could go back and get some Karate which, at 1 use remaining, will do nearly as much damage as an N.Bomb on most enemies, but Ashura's O-All means he has weapon resistance, taking half damage from physical attacks. Also, my mutants only have limited inventory space; loading up on a few 1-use remaining Karates will work for humans, but not for mutants.

On my first two mutants I had Giant Gloves equipped as I was hoping the extra damage would help. Then I swung Dragon and Ice swords at him (elemental swords do full damage even if they resist the element!). I was only doing 130 damage or so per swing; his innate O-Weapon drastically cuts the damage you. On the second round he killed my frontline mutant, followed up with a Flare spell soon after, and then a kill to my back row mutant. Swinging away with two mutants for a few rounds, just as I expected to die, he went down, with my remaining mutants at like 80 or so HP left each.

Barely made it to the pitfall, and to the base of the tower.

User Info: BareknuckleRoo

3 years ago#5
WORLD 5: Time for the final ascent. Levelling was tricky, as the weapons I had were expensive to use. I was actually refilling my weapons with the Arcane item at this point since it was way more cost effective. My front-line mutant got the Ninja Gloves immediately inside the tower, leaving only one free space for a weapon. I was able to afford two Dragon Helmets at this point, which when combined with Dragon Armor affords full elemental immunity. I couldn't afford much else, but I decided to try Gen-Bu2. His Quake spam nearly took out the person who didn't have a Dragon Helmet, and his alarming defense coupled with O-Change meant half damage from weapons, the only one of the four fiends you refight who has this.

If I could've afforded a Sun Sword I could have been dealing an absurd amount of damage and gone for a critical but as it turns out I didn't even buy a Sun Sword until after the undead fiends were dead.

Went up the tower, doing some levelling for money. I had to go in and out a fair bit to slowly get money for Elixirs. Scyllas are BY FAR the most dangerous enemy group here, especially when paired with Musasi (Musashi). They have 4-Heads which does a massive amount of damage (even with 90+ Def you take at least 150 or so), and they also have access to Whirl; I've never seen them use Whirl, but it's scary. Musasi are also nasty, with 2-Swords being damaging, and Revenge being a 1-hit kill. Basically you're risking a Revenge kill any time you fight a Musasi with physical attacks. Ouch.

Nearly had a gameover when I got stuck in fight after fight on the elevator and realized I'd used up my last Door item on a previous trip. Out of Elixirs, no Revives, three mutants ended up dead, whittled down by Scylla/Musasi fights. I ended up equipping the N.Bomb on my last mutant - he was literally just a few steps from the exit but if he got into a fight he wouldn't last in a group battle - but thankfully didn't need to use it.

I learned that Dragon Swords do extra damage and can critical hit instakill Scyllas and other Medusa class enemies. Neat. However, eventually I saved up for a Defense sword which made a HUGE difference in my ability to survive, since I could block as well as retaliate! Also, a Missle weapon gave me something to use on groups, although it has super limited ammo and needs to be refilled with Arcane to save money. Note that I forgot to get the Excalibur; its damage is far weaker than in FFL2 and it tends to have highly variable damage. I preferred the single-target swords, especially given my limited weapon slots.

Went up the tower, the other three fiends went down easily even though I didn't have a Sun Sword to exploit their weaknesses. Gave the Arthur Armor to my frontline mutant, that plus the Band gave me O-All with 90 Def or so. Neat. Physical attacks were hurting though, so I got my next mutant in line to ditch the Dragon Armor, and go with Dragon Helmet + Suit. Adding natural def in, they were at about 70ish or so. I ditched the nameless boots (originally Kong Ming's shoes?) since the Def is tiny, and the Mana boost useless (even when I'm using Mana, Mutants do plenty of damage with Flare at 99 Mana as is). The Masmune (Masamune) is helpful-ish; like the Xclbr (Excalibur) its damage tends to vary wildly. Unlike Xclbr it appears to ignore the target's defense as well as ignores O-Weapon. It usually does 250-300 damage, but may decide to hit low 100's on occasion. Doesn't seem to be tied to your own stats.

My mutants have 800+ HP, with one having 999 HP. Time for the final preparation to murder a selfish egomaniacal god.

User Info: BareknuckleRoo

3 years ago#6
The final boss is Creator, who has a whopping 5000 HP, 99 Str and Agi, a massive 200 Def, 90 Mana, O-All, and has the ability to throw out huge non-elemental damage as well as full-party confusion and can heal himself to max HP.

The healing part makes this a damage race, plain and simple. Keeping up with his damage output is extremely difficult since you don't have any full-party healing spells in this game. Unlike Ashura, Creator is NOT undead so the Vampic sword will work, but you'll need maxed out Agi on your mutant to reliably hit. Since we're not using any magical based weapons, that option's out.

You can actually get a good idea of how much damage your attacks will do against Creator by using a similar enemy, FireMan. They also have O-All (O-Damage and O-Change), and have fairly high Def, and are fairly common in the ascent in the tower to fight the Creator, so you can get a good idea of what will work and what won't.

Here's the plan - get up the tower with as few resources used, then change equipment for the final fight. The final battle requires a Band or Dragon Helmet to protect against his confusion attack (if you're unprotected it will be devastating if it hits multiple members). That leaves three item slots free for weapons.

Swords are generally out; none of Creator's attacks are physical, so shields and the Defend Sword are pointless. The Sun Sword is powerful, but against 200 Def and O-Weapon, it's reduced to about 130 damage a swing. This is too low to be useful and take out his 5000 HP before he heals himself. The Glass Sword consistently does 400 damage as it ignores Def and O-Weapon so that's always a good option, but in the Japanese version it only has one use. I'm ignoring it here and seeing what else works. Masmune is similar in that it ignores his defenses and resistances, but it will occasionally do low 100s for damage. It's a bit random at times, but it's much better than other swords for damage. The Xclbr is extremely weak and should be avoided (its only use in FFL1 is as a decent group attack weapon).

The Karate martial art could work - at 1 use remaining it hits for about 550 damage, just shy of what an N.Bomb does. I think martial arts are reduced by O-Weapon, but even then packing a few of those could be an option... if it wasn't for the fact that we have only 3 item slots free for weapons.

Guns and Bows... well, the Gr. Bow and Magnum both are too weak and reduced by O-Weapon. The laser cannon does 130 damage to an enemy group and appears to ignore Def/resists, but that's way too weak. The Creator can't be Hypered either.

What can four humans or four mutants pretending to be humans use? We're left with 3 options:

a) Use the best swords and hope to win a damage race. Glass Sword + Masmune and then Sun Swords or something. Not a great idea, want something more reliable.

b) Be cheap and use the Saw glitch for a one-hit kill. Although very, very amusing to see, I'd like to actually take down that 5000 HP the hard way.

c) Missiles.

Option c) is what we're going with here. If you've never tried them, Missiles are pretty cool. They only have 5 uses and cost 40,000 each (so refill them with Arcane when they have 1 use left). However, they don't work like normal guns do; the damage they do appears to be defense ignoring and unresistable, and hits all enemies! The damage is lower than you could do with a Flare spell, but 200-300 damage to all enemies is pretty nifty and reliable. The downside is a limited usage count, but as long as we get to the Creator fight by using swords or running away, we can conserve our Missiles.

User Info: BareknuckleRoo

3 years ago#7
Here's what I opt for on my final ascent

Mutant 1:
Defend Sword
Arthur Armor -> switch to Missile before final boss

Mutant 2:
Suit -> switch to Missile before final boss
Dragon Helm

Mutant 3:
Dragon Sword -> switch to Missile before final boss
Dragon Helm

Mutant 4:
Sun Sword -> switch to Missile before final boss
Dragon Helm

I couldn't afford more missiles, so I just went up as is with the Dragon and Sun Swords into the final boss fight. 10 uses of Missile on every character except the N.Bomb user (who had the Masmune as backup) would be more than enough.

Used N.Bomb on first round (the damage seems fixed, always does just under 600 damage). It's the strongest attack in the game in raw HP damage so it's only fitting to save it for the hardest enemy, followed by pounding away with Missiles. Creator consistently ate Missiles for 300 or so damage, and ended up dying shortly after it managed to use Flare. Technology saves the day!


All in all, I found this actually easier than playing with four humans. Four humans requires an obnoxious amount of tedious pill-popping, stat potion chugging madness to get anywhere near the strength mutants can by simply beating stuff up. HP in particular is tedious to raise, since you literally have to purchase and use, one at a time, hundreds of HP200 potions. I usually can get a human to around 700 HP or so before I get fed up with the process, and that's when there's only one or two humans in the party. And, the Creator can easily kill you in a couple hits if you only have about 600 HP. At 800 or more HP, he's much more survivable, as he'd have to hit you with Flare twice to try and kill you, and even then you may survive it.

Mutants in FFL1 don't need abilities. Their amazing growth speed and access to spellcasting items already makes them the best race in the game in terms of potential, so their quirky (as in unpolished and uncontrollable) ability system can be more or less disregarded and they'll still be amazing. Heck, they don't even need their magic powers (though it sure helps!) as their levelup speed is so good that as long as you actively fight encounters, you'll get to be very, very powerful by the end of the game. With a bit of planning, the low item capacity doesn't need to be an issue either, as the natural Def easily helps to offset that, and carrying backup equipment in your general inventory allows you to easy refill when necessary.

User Info: _Kaz

3 years ago#8
BareknuckleRoo posted...
Technology saves the day!

Screw high fantasy settings!
Fighter: "Mr Pibb", "Dr Pepper".. I'm onto you..
Kaz Fact: Welcome to Version 2.0!

User Info: NessEggman

3 years ago#9
A fun read. Missiles! I agree that Mutants easily make the best class in the game even without their abilities. My last time through, my mutants got terrible abilities so I ended up just ignoring the whole ability system and focusing on their strengths. Easily became powerful compared to my human.
http://thaao.net/playdiaries/ --- SSLPs of SaGa, Rockman, Harvest Moon, Tokimeki Memorial, and more

User Info: BareknuckleRoo

3 years ago#10
Thank you! I really appreciate it.

Aside from a few specific abilities that are commonly found and handy before boss fights such as Power or Armor, the good Mutant abilities are so rare that finding them regularly isn't gonna happen (P-Blast, O-Damage). It's also a huge pain to keep abilities you want by checking the menus after every fight (which will ruin your enjoyment of the game if you feel obligated to do this).

The nice thing is constantly saving and resetting to maintain Mutant abilities is totally unnecessary; they work just fine with equipment thanks to their levelling and the general usefulness of spellcasting items. Abilities are a nice bonus occasionally but never necessary (and it's frankly annoying to have to constantly go down for spaces each battle for each Mutant to get to items...). I've seen reviewers complain about how annoying it is to manage Mutant abilities in this game; it's definitely a lot more enjoyable when you realize how much easier it is to focus on equipment and spellbooks, and mostly ignore abilities.

A few things I've learned since doing this run I didn't realize:

• The Suit you can get in the 4th World provides O-Weapon. Sure, you'll take damage from spells, but until you can get the Dragon Helmet and its O-Change, the Suit is actually better in general than the Dragon Armour. A lot of nasty physical attackers can have all their damage halved, including Hydras, and later on even Ashura's multihit attacks! 4 characters sporting Suits makes Ashura a breeze.

• Stone books are ridiculously powerful in FFL. Super high success rate, and very few enemies in the game resist Stone. I one-shotted Byak-Ko, Su-Zaku, and then Sei-Ryu2, Byak-Ko2 and Su-Zaku2 in my last run. It also ended up being way better than other elemental spellbooks; Stone basically never missed with 80+ Mana, and for the rare enemies unaffected by it Flare nukes them down.

• The Power bodysuit found at the end of the game that fills all your slots is garbage. I actually tried using it for the first time in a while; it's awful. You lose all your resistances for 70 Def and 15 Str, 15 Agi. Not worth it. Dragon Helm and Armour provides full immunity, including O-Weapon which halves physical attacks, making up for any Def gap. It's annoying and probably overkill, but I like to get everyone Suits for the Ashura fight, then switch back to Dragon Armour for the end of the game when Dragon Helms are available.
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