A Comprehensive List of my FFXII Deaths

I died 25 times in approximately 80 hours of gameplay, which is undoubtedly the optimal death rate for any game with a level-based battle system. If you die less often, you’re not taking enough chances, and if you die more often, it’s because you suck. All of my deaths were glorious and justifiable:

1. I Pissed Off a Dinosaur

In the first battle area of the game, you have the option of fighting a Wild Saurian.

“It is dangerous at low levels, but it will not attack unless provoked.”

Translation: if you don’t provoke the dinosaur, you’re a pussy. My party had only one member, who was at level 2. The dinosaur turned out to be at level 29…

2. I tried to steal from the dinosaur

I had a brilliant idea: if I can’t kill the dinosaur, why not steal from it and run away? Unfortunately, my steal attempt failed. So did my attempt to run away.

I could’ve avoided two certain deaths against the dinosaur. So what? Like I said earlier, if you aren’t dying in a level-based battle system, you’re playing like a coward.

3. Died Escaping Jail

Like any Final Fantasy game, FFXII had a jailbreak quest:

That music
That other music
Bullshit non-fighting tasks aren’t fun in any conceivable way
yet necessary to advance the plot
Giant Swords
Random monster bosses that are irrelevant to the plot
Limit Breaks
Can only fight with up to a fixed-number subset of your party
Multi-stage final boss
Optional bosses that are infinitely harder than the final boss
Usurpation of the throne
Useless status effect spells
Useful status effect spells?!

This was admittedly my most pathetic death of the game. Good thing nobody noticed with that badass checklist in the way.

4. Mimic Queen (Boss)

A typical boss death. It used attacks I never saw coming. Then when I fought it the second time, I knew its moves and took it down without much trouble.

5. Thextera (Hunt)

Neglected to clear out the surrounding enemies before attacking it. Easily took it down the second time.

6. Wraith (Hunt)

It cast Doom on me. I could’ve run away to a nearby save crystal, but I wanted to see if Doom would kill me like it did in all the other Final Fantasy games. It did.

8 and 9. Garuda (Boss)

The second of only four enemies to take me down twice.

You need to do a side quest to get an item that drastically weakens this enemy; otherwise it will rape you. I knew I was outclassed after fighting it once, but I futilely tried again because I didn’t feel like going out of my way to do the side quest. I was a fool to let emotion cloud my judgment.

9 and 10. *Spoiler*


Vossler’s low-HP onslaught screwed me twice. Then I tried summoning. It was the only time in the whole game that summoning was useful.


11. Sabotaged by Slimes

When you hit a switch in the Henne Mines, a bunch of slimes drop down and slaughter you if you don’t run away like a little sissy girl (which I didn’t do the first time).

12. Elder Wyrm (Boss)

At this point I began to realize just how underleveled I was. This boss shoots oil at you to make its fire attacks more powerful, which was a really shitty strategy, because its fire attacks were powerful enough to kill me without the oil. The next time I faced it, I needed 22 phoenix downs to win. Letting it kill me and then using phoenix downs was a more effective strategy than trying to protect myself from its attacks.

13. Zombie Ambush in Stilshrine

I flipped a switch without the proper item equipped, triggering a zombie ambush. I mistakenly assumed these were your run-of-the-mill pansy zombies until they started eating my brains. My reserve members took down a few of them but couldn’t seal the deal.

14. Statue Ambush in Stilshrine

When you’re severely underleveled and no longer have Larsa in your party to heal you with his unlimited supply of potions, random statues coming to life and stepping on you gets really old, really fast.

After this death I went on a few hunts to make some money and level up.

15. Croakadile (Hunt)

I could’ve easily run away to a save crystal, but dying took me there a lot faster.

16. Bull Croc

Its attack strength practically quadrupled as its HP ran low. Laziness once again trumped my better judgment as I tried to finish it off quickly instead of healing and regrouping.

17 and 18. Mateus (Boss)

It took me two deaths to realize it was using Reflect.

19 and 20. Judge Bergan (Boss)

Aside from inspiring badass cosplays, I hated these cheap ass judges (except Gabranth). In our first battle, his lackeys snuck up on me with a pincer attack. The second time he barely outlasted me. It was almost as if I were the real winner.

21. Ahriman (Boss)

Kicked my ass with its shadow clone jutsu. Underleveling had caught up to me once again, so I spent some time fiddling around with the license grid and found some HP+ squares. After unlocking them all, each of my characters got 1000 more HP, nearly twice their previous level. The game suddenly got a hell of a lot easier.

22. Attacked by Bats

The Feywood had a random entrance to the Henne Mines with some ludicrously powerful bats. I wasn’t too concerned when it took down my active party – until I remembered that my backup party consisted of two dead characters and a confused Fran. After being breezing through Archades, this was a really shitty way to die.

23. Exodus (Optional Esper)

Another fight way above my level.

24. Zombie Pit in the Third Ascent of Pharos

I got sent to the Zombie Pit after flipping the wrong switch.

I am such a dojikko

As with Death #13, these were not your run-of-the-mill pansy zombies.

25. Overlord (Hunt)

I wanted three specific characters to gain License Points from this battle. Two of them died and the enemy was too quick to let me bring them both back to life, so I died on purpose.

I did all the hunts through Level IV, all the Level V hunts except the one in the Barheim passage, a few of the Level VI hunts, and the Carrot from Level VII. I wandered around the Deadlands and the Necrohol but couldn’t access any of the optional bosses, so a few deaths may have been saved there. I don’t plan on going back into the game, especially since I’ve already spent 80 hours on it, nearly twice what I’d anticipated. An Unbiased Review is forthcoming.

I’ll also start taking recommendations for my next PS2 game. So far I’ve only played:

  • Final Fantasy X
  • Final Fantasy X-2
  • Final Fantasy XII
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
  • Devil May Cry
  • Devil May Cry III
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Kingdom Hearts II

That’s it. Feel free to recommend any games that aren’t on the list. Persona 3 was recommended, and I’m also interested in checking out the Metal Gear Solid franchise. RPGs are preferred, but I’m open to all suggestions as long as they don’t suck. Also, make sure it’s a one-player game because I don’t have any friends.

32 people love sucking up to me

  1. I vote that you play Disgaea next. If you thought 80 hours was a timesink, just try the several hundred that are par for Disgaea’s course!

  2. 25 times? Really? I didn’t die at all from what I remember, but I only struggled in two fights and I didn’t do every hunt – stopped when they started involving annoying amounts of grinding for levels. I barely beat Yojimbo, and I struggled a bit against the final boss, but that was it. That said, I powerlevelled Vaan up at the start of the game and got the Zodiac spear at the earliest opportunity… actually, I lie. I probably died about 25 times trying to beat that goddamn Bomb King so I could sneak into Nabudis for the spear.

    As for PS2 games to check out: Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, Okami, Odin Sphere, Persona 3 FES.

  3. You may like Rogue Galaxy , though after a certain point lat in the game it gets kind of easy, or Star Ocean 3: Till The End Of Time.
    And Dojikko’s don’t work in real life.

  4. Awesome, I’ve never seen a chronicle on game deaths before. That’s some good shit.

    As for the game recommendations, it might help if you give some insights on what you like. But yeah, you can’t go wrong with Okami or Shadow of the Colossus, even if you prefer RPGs. Neither are real time sinks though…Okami was like a ~30 hr game and SotC will probably only take a meager 15 or so hours to beat. But it’ll be a damn good 15 hours.

    Also, if you really dig SMT: Nocturne, the Digital Devil Saga will be worth checking out too (if you can find/afford it, that is).

  5. @jiff: I’ve only played two games this year: Kingdom Hearts II and FFXII. If Disgaea is as long as you claim, it would probably take me another year.

    @NegativeZero: Although the Bomb King never killed me, I ran away from it twice. Then again, I didn’t go down that path until a hunt when I was around level 40. I’m pretty sure I ruined my chance to get the Zodiac Spear by opening chests, though I never bothered to confirm it.

    @Omisyth: I’ll try tsundere next. I hate FFXII. But I love it.

    @Sagacious1: I’m impressed that I never lost the index card I used to catalog my deaths.

  6. I died about twelve times. Two of them were due to that bomb king, once to the elder wyrm, and one very aggrivating time against the killer wall are what I remember the most. I also ended up falling to those bats in the tunnel that incidentally looked a whole lot like a tunnel from an earlier date, with enemies that looked a whole lot like ones from earlier dungeons. God I hate pallate-swapping monster designers.
    I found, however, that no matter how much people tell you that anyone can pick a certain role with enough grindan, nobody will ever fulfil the ‘shield of meat and death’ role as well as Basch. There are stat lists there for a reason. Read them.

    Fun activity!
    Step 1: Get quickenings for your main party.
    Step 2: Save up on MP restoring items
    Step 3: Set your gambits up for reviving priority.
    Step 4: Waltz into a boss that’s way out of your league, I.E. Zeromus.
    Step 5: Fire off a long quickening chain at it.
    Step 6: Restore everybody’s mana. Make sure not to get murdered.
    Step 7: Repeat steps 5 and 6 until desired effect is achieved.

    Secondly, God Hand.
    Devil May Cry 3 +every single enemy with the potential to turn into something resembling those goddamn spiders – any sort of seriousness + boss unforgiviness + irreverent Capcom self-reference + shonen action clichés to comedic effect + groin-injuries + fanservice from nowhere + the most infuriating challenge modes to be seen on a Capcom title ever + WTF quotient of .6.
    I think that’s about right.

  7. Being a pussy I’ve always thought the optimum was to be just on the verge of death and constantly escaping by the narrowest margins. Because of this I ran away a lot, and only died a couple of times. The only time I really messed up was failing to notice the things telling you what to do in the Pharos zombie trap. I somehow survived the bastards 3 times in a row, then found the rest of the game really easy.

    Beyond Good and Evil and the first Jak and Dazter game aren’t RPGs, but deserve more love.

  8. I’m quite sure I died more times than you, one of the reasons being that I tried to kill mateus with my party at level 15. Not a very smart thing to do, took me like 20 tries just on that.

    haha, I did get owned by the stupid saurian too, but once I leveled up to about level 50 I came back for it. Man did I ever have fun.

    Anyway, overall I think I spent 110 hours on the game and managed to complete pretty much everything. It was extremely fun. xD

  9. I wanna see zombies eat brains!! Maybe you should do a video of it. :]

    on the other hand, I thought DMC 4 was good. But you shouldn’t listen to me, because I had the rabid fangirl syndrome over Nero.. (and maybe even Dante. Like Clooney, he still looks kinda good old)

  10. Dying in RPG´s are inevitable, but one way of dying less often is to level up too soon in the plot, so really hard boss fights are just a breeze and you don´t even realize it is a boss anyway..lol.. But it reaaaaaly is a pain in the ass…it takes too much time to stick fighting to monsters and leveling up…That´s how i ended up with 99:59:59 in my timer in final fantasy VII.
    I know it is not a PS2 game, but this is my suggestion of game (play it again if you have already played it).

  11. @Sagacious1: I never forget my deaths. All I need are the slightest clues, however incomprehensible, to recall them.

    @keke: That’s fine, I typically acknowledge one filler comment per post. Sorry blissmo, maybe next time.

    @LJ: I often had Basch and Penelo alternating in that role – Basch because he’s a beast and Penelo because she’s irrelevant. Quickenings…this is why I should read the instruction manual. More on these two topics in the forthcoming Unbiased Review.

    @coburn: You need a Shinji pep talk: I mustn’t run away, I mustn’t run away, I mustn’t run away…

    @Ez: The leveling in this game really pissed me off. Ideally, in any game, you won’t have to go out of your way to level up. In this game you could explore an entire territory, fight every battle that comes your way, and still not have a high enough level to survive boss attacks at full HP. And I gotta say, getting revenge on that Saurian was sweet.

    @Hoshi: I understand, I’m GAR for Vergil and Sparda.

    @Laguna: I’ve played FFVII once and watched a roommate play it once. It’s an awesome game, but right now I’m so backed up my gaming that I’m compelled to try something new instead of replaying any older games.

    @digitalboy: I know you’d rather see a Kanokon RPG.

    @korosora: Medium difficulty?! I don’t think so. I know it’d make the game more enjoyable, but the game probably taunts you into picking Hard mode. This is what happened on the menu screen in Nocturne:

    – A normal level of difficulty

    – A level suitable for those seeking the thrill of death

    Translation: If you pick normal, you’re a pussy. The game was really hard and I often wish I’d picked normal, but I know in my heart that I did the right thing.

  12. Do NOT play Disgaea unless you like level grinding over and over again. The writing is quirky and amusing, but the constant leveling gets tiresome. The MGS series is a good choice, and I look forward to reading your thoughts on its contrived psuedo philosophical story.

    If you must go with an RPG, Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga is gravy.

  13. Everytime I see anybody talk about this game it makes me tempted to go play it again. Man it just kills me that in my opinion they got everything about this game right except the damn gameplay style for it. Also I second SMT:Digital Devil Saga. Amazing Games. Just have to be willing to pay for them as the first is a bit on the rarer side.

  14. Another vote for Persona 3: FES. That said, I’m currently halfway through and a bit bored since the dating sim side quest doesn’t have any porn.

  15. @Patz: I put up a good amount of money for Nocturne and don’t regret it. It came out to less than $1/hour of gameplay – not bad at all.

    @Teeif: Dating Sim side quest in an RPG? I have to play this just for the WTF quotient.

  16. What’s a dojikko?

    That and I think your picture looks like Shah Rukh Khan in a t-shirt. Only Baka-Raptor would be able to understand this compliment, for reasons he’d rather not disclose.

    I’ve been playing Final Fantasy III on my DS sometimes and I die so rarely that I tend to forget my deaths. I seem to be in an RPG Valhalla where once I die I start fighting again the next morning.

    Have you played The World Ends With You? It’s hard as tack.

  17. @Riex: I’ve been considering that one for a while. It’s always been a finalist but never my ultimate pick.

    @Asperger’s: Need to get me a DS to play some Phoenix Wright.

  18. @Baka-Raptor: No doubt my favorite RPG of all times is Chrono Trigger !!! Ironicaly…squaresoft did the selling out to enix and created the worst rpg of all times: Chrono Cross.

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