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The Newbie Guide: A resource for brand new players who don't know all of the game's tricks yet.

(Special thanks to the inimitable WhimsyFox for her contributions to this guide.)
Now that War of the Lions is out on mobile, there's a decent number of people getting into Final Fantasy Tactics for the first time. As I'm sure some of y'all have noticed, this game is really goddamned hard for new players. As such, I thought it might be worthwhile to write up a short guide to help explain the game and lay out some useful strategies that brand new players might not know about.
This guide is divided up into a few different sections for ease of use:
I. What the hell do all of these words and numbers mean!? Ia. Health/HP Ib. Magic/MP Ic. Charge Time/CT Id. Physical Attack/PA Ie. Magical Attack/MA If. Speed Ig. Bravery Ih. Faith Ii. Zodiac Sign II. Abilities, Jobs, gear and combos that you should know. IIa. How to Train Your Army IIb. Early Game Builds IIc. Power Builds IId. The Pantheon of Busted Nonsense IIe. Tips and Tricks III. Fair warning about a bunch of stuff that's going to kick your ass. (Spoilers) 
I. What the hell do all of these words and numbers mean!?
Ia. Health/HP Damage reduces your HP. It is automatically restored to full after every battle. When this hits zero, the character dies. A dead character has a counter over their head that counts down every time their turn would come up. If the character's turn comes up when the counter is at 0, they will permanently die, leaving behind a crystal or treasure chest. If this happens to Ramza, it's game over. Special characters that join your party as guests cannot permanently die, but if they join you as a real unit (read: you can control them in combat) then their relevance to the story is over and they can permanently die thereafter. Given the huge time investment a properly-trained FFT character takes, getting one of your units crystallized is basically a reset.
Worth noting is that there is no defense or magic defense stat in FFT, unlike its sequels. HP is the only defensive stat, and better armor increases your HP but does not reduce the damage you take.
Ib. Magic/MP A resource required for casting magic spells. Like HP, it is automatically restored in between battles.
Ic. Charge Time/CT This stat determines when characters get to take their turn in a fight. Unlike HP and MP, it is set to 100 for all characters, and this maximum cannot be altered in any way. At the start of battle, everybody's CT starts at 0 and starts to fill up toward 100. The higher your Speed stat, the faster this will fill up. When a character's CT reaches 100, they get to take their turn. Moving + Acting takes all 100 CT, starting you over at 0. Acting but not moving sets it to 20; moving but not acting resets it to 40; ending your turn without moving or acting sets it to 60. All of these result in getting your next turn faster.
Id. Physical Attack/PA This is the number next to the little picture of the sword. It determines how much damage your regular physical attacks deal, as well as most special abilities that deal physical damage. The impact can be greater or lesser depending on what kind of weapon you're using; in fact, Guns, Crossbows, Staves, Poles and Tomes aren't affected by your PA at all.
Without getting into specific damage formulae, it should be noted that PA is used multiplicatively. This means a single point of PA can up your damage substantially.
Ie. Magical Attack/MA This is the number next to the little picture of the wand. It determines how much damage your magical spells and special abilities do. It also determines the damage for attacking with Staves, Poles, Tomes and Magic Guns. Magic spells often have a lot more factors impacting their final damage than just the caster's MA, and magical abilities tend to be limited by MP and charge time, so boosting MA isn't quite as good for mages as boosting PA is for fighters. That said, you can stack MA on a character much, much earlier than you can for PA, and if you're using a Pole or Magic Gun you can easily turn your MA into damage just like fighters do.
If. Speed Speed determines how fast a character's CT gauge fills. Every clock tick, a character's CT increases by an amount equal to their Speed. To put it more simply, higher speed = faster turns (and, if your speed is high enough, more turns.) A few weapons and abilities also use Speed in their damage formulae (mostly Bows, Daggers, and Ninjato, and the damage calculation for the Ninja's Throw skillset) but the effect is much less dramatic than with PA or MA for the most part.
Speed is, far and away, the most powerful stat in the entire game. Due to the way the combat engine works a character that stacks their Speed high enough can "lap" other characters and take multiple turns to their one. Gear that boosts your Speed tends to be rare and expensive for a reason. You can also boost a character's speed long-term by leveling them up as a Ninja, which is an awesome class to begin with.
Keep on the lookout for gear that boosts PA, MA and Speed, because it is much stronger than gear that just boosts your HP, even if it's only a single point. It is a good idea to use gear that boosts your PA, MA or Speed over gear that doesn't even if you might consider it "outdated."
Ig. Bravery Bravery does a few different things. It determines how often most Reaction Abilities trigger (so a character with a Bravery of 70 and the Counterattack ability assigned has a 70% chance for their Counterattack to trigger.) It has no effect on Reaction Abilities like Parry or Reflex; those are just always "on." It also figures into the damage calculation for Katanas, Knight Swords and bare hands, as well as the Monk's Martial Arts skillset.
The Chemist's Treasure Hunt Movement Ability is also affected by Bravery, but in the opposite direction. The higher a character's Bravery, the more likely they will find a common item instead of a rare one with Treasure Hunt; therefore a lower Bravery stat is preferable for Treasure Hunters. Rapha has naturally low Bravery, and is a common choice for dedicated Treasure Hunt user for this reason.
Bravery is scored from 1-100. If a character's Bravery drops below 10 during battle due to debuffs, they will turn into a Chicken. While a character is a Chicken they cannot be controlled, and will automatically run away. Chickens regenerate 1 Bravery at the end of each of their turns, and the effect ends when their Bravery reaches 10 again or the battle ends.
If any effect changes a character's Bravery during battle, some of that change will be permanent. For every 4 points a character's Bravery is increased or decreased, 1 point of that will become permanent after the battle. This means that you can permanently increase a character's Bravery to 97 (its maximum resting point) through use of the Orator skillset or Ramza's special Steel ability. If a character's permanent Bravery is reduced to 5 or lower they will permanently leave the party; this is basically impossible unless you force it to happen yourself, and you will get warnings before it happens.
Ih. Faith Faith determines how effective a character is with magic, both as a caster and a target. The higher a character's Faith the more damage they deal and take with magic spells. The same is true of healing. Faith also affects the accuracy of spells that inflict status conditions (including beneficial effects like Protect and Haste.) A character with a Faith of 0 is completely immune to magic of all kinds, but also cannot use magic at all. The exception is Marach's Nether Mantra skillset, which inverts the normal expectation and is stronger the lower Marach's Faith is.
If any effect changes a character's Faith during battle, some of that change will be permanent. For every 4 points a character's Faith is increased or decreased, 1 point of that will become permanent after the battle. This means that you can permanently increase a character's Faith up to 97 (its maximum resting point) through use of the Orator skillset. However, If a character's permanent Faith is increased to 95 or higher, they will permanently leave the party; this is basically impossible unless you force it to happen yourself, and you will get warnings before it happens.
The Faith status effect causes a character to be treated as though their Faith stat were 100 without actually altering the stat, while the Atheist status effect similarly treats a character's Faith as 0. This allows you to glean the benefits of a high Faith stat without causing your characters to leave, or make a character immune to magic for a time without wrecking their Faith stat long-term. They can also be highly effective against enemies, making them more susceptible to nasty status effects or neutering their spellcasting abilities.
Ii. Zodiac Sign Each unit has a Zodiac sign based on their birthday. When two different units interact in some way, the compatibility between their Zodiac signs affects the result. Honestly this stuff gets a little complicated, so I'll just link a guide. You can read up on it if you really want to, but unless you're planning to start challenge running the game you really don't need to bother with it. Just know that if you're seeing unexpectedly higher or lower damage/healing/success chances, the most likely culprit is Zodiac signs.
II. Abilities, Jobs, gear and combos that you should know.
IIa. How to Train Your Army There are a few abilities that are vital for training your team. The first two are, appropriately enough, on the base Squire class. The first is JP Boost, which increases the amount of JP the character receives. You should always put this on your characters while you are training, then replace it when you go to actually fight.
The second is Focus, an ability that has no MP cost or charge time and boosts the user's PA by 1 until the end of battle. This can be stacked over and over again until the unit's PA hits the maximum value of 99. Ramza also has the similar (but vastly more powerful) Tailwind, which allows him to boost the Speed of a nearby target or himself in a similar way.
Other nice abilities to have for training include the Chemist's Auto Potion reaction ability (discussed later in the Pantheon of Busted Nonsense) and/or some way to heal your team, such as the Monk's Chakra.
Whenever a unit takes a successful action, they receive EXP and JP. The amount of EXP gained is based on the level difference between the two units. (You can abuse this by, for example, having one of your lower-level units punch one of your higher-level units for massive EXP gain.) The amount of JP gained is based on the unit's Job Level; this means that learning abilities for any unit starts out slow but ramps up to be faster the longer you train them in a particular Job for.
The reason Focus and Tailwind are so useful is that they are 100% successful abilities with no cost of any kind. This means you can spam them over and over again, gaining EXP and JP each time. Tailwind is especially good for this, since a unit with higher speed will get more turns, which will result in more EXP and JP gained. Having Ramza spam Tailwind on himself will eventually create a crazy feedback loop where he's eventually getting three or four turns in a row, which can help him master classes relatively quickly.
The game assumes that you are stopping to grind your party up from time to time. If you run into a brick wall of a mission that you can't even get close to beating, that's the game's hint that it's time to stop what you're doing and train.
Before you train, set up you army. Put JP Boost and defensive reaction abilities like Auto Potion or Parry on as many units as you can; likewise, remove offensive reaction abilities like Counterattack or First Strike. Give each unit the Fundaments ability so that they can use Focus. Make sure you bring someone who can heal and at least one source of resurrection.
Then go to Mandalia Plains; it has the easiest encounters. Fight as normal, defeating all but one enemy. Then do whatever you can to weaken that enemy: hit it with nonlethal status effects, break its stats, or simply put it in critical HP so that it keeps its distance. Once you're set up, gather your party in a cross-shaped formation on some flat ground so that your healing powers can affect the whole party at once. Then start spamming Focus with your whole team. Continue until you have as much JP as you need. This can take hours. Put on a podcast or something.
IIb. Early Game Builds Chemists are the best healers in the entire game. Their abilities cost no MP, have no charge time, are ranged, and don't mess around with stuff like Faith or Zodiac compatibility. Phoenix Down is the only guaranteed resurrection effect in the entire game. Auto Potion is an S-tier reaction ability: if you sell off your lower-level potions, it will always use a Hi-Potion or X-Potion if that's all you have in your inventory. This can result in a character that is nearly immortal. Later in the game, Chemists are also able to equip Guns, which deal unevadeable damage at a huge range. Gun damage is also fixed, so Chemists' low stats won't be a hindrance.
Putting the Knight's break skills on a ranged attacker like an Archer or gun-wielding Chemist can be quite powerful. Speed Break and Weapon Break in particular can cripple an enemy unit profoundly; this can be especially potent against enemy units with special skills that rely on their weapon, including bosses like Wiegraf or Gaffgarion.
Magic damage is quite powerful, especially early on. Wizards and later Summoners can wipe out half a battlefield and completely trivialize assassination missions. Gear like the Wizard Robe and the elemental rods are available early on and provide significant boosts to magic damage. Female units have better stats for magic, so the ideal spellcaster is a female unit with high Faith. Stack all those advantages together and you can one-shot early boss fights.
Monks have good all-around stats and one of the most versatile skillsets in the game. They can deal ranged damage, restore HP and MP and even revive the dead. They also have the extremely busted Barehanded support ability that will make a unit's bare hands a deadly weapon. This is an awesome way to use a class that you can't buy weapons for yet. The Knight's Equip Heavy Armor support ability is excellent for Monks in the early game, and will give them a huge pool of HP to work with. This strategy becomes outdated later in the game, when stat-boosting clothes become more powerful than heavy armor. Much as female units make better spellcasters, male units make better physical fighters, so male monks are preferred.
Geomancers are all-around solid, versatile units. They can equip a lot of the best gear in the game, they're capable of fighting up close or at a distance, they can deal ranged AOE magic damage instantly and at no cost, and their Geomancy skills have a chance of inflicting status effects, some of which can be fight-ending. Tanglevine, Torrent and Contortion come from the most common terrain in the game and can inflict Stop, Toad and Petrify respectively. To top it all off, their JP costs are very cheap. If you don't know what to do with a unit, you can always do worse than a Geomancer.
IIc. Power Builds The Samurai's Iaido skillset has really high base damage values to make up for a Samurai's weak MA stat. Wizards have the highest MA stat multiplier in the game. Put Iaido on one (preferrably with the Teleport movement ability) and you can do some really psychotic AOE damage. Ramza, unique among units, gets both the high PA growth of a male and the high MA growth of a female. This lets you pursue some unique builds with him; one of my favorites is a Geomancer with Iaido, which leverages both halves of his strong stat growth at once.
Mystics are surprisingly bulky spellcasters. Their unique pole weapons have reach like a spear but deal damage based on the user's MA instead of PA. This means you can fully stack magic-enhancing gear on them and still have a threatening unit after their MP runs out (and a spell that drains MP from enemies to boot!) Their status-inflicting moveset is useful across the board, and their Invigoration spell absolutely shreds Lucavi.
Time Mages kinda suck stat-wise, but Time Magic is one of the best skillsets in the game bar none. Haste is a ludicrously overpowered buff, and they get an AOE version of it that's cheap on any axis you want to measure. Slow and Stop are also powerful status effects. To top it all off, Quicken has some truly broken applications in combos. Their Teleport movement ability is also quite good.
An OratoChemist is a strong combination. The Chemist half gives it excellent healing abilities and a stellar reaction command in Auto Potion. The Orator half gives it Bravery/Faith manipulation plus access to an instant, free, ranged, AOE sleep in Mimic Darlavon to fill its turns when healing is unnecessary. And from both halves it gets access to guns. Late game magic guns (especially the Stoneshooter if you're willing to go out of your way for it) output significant damage at long range and aren't hindered much by the Job combo's lackluster stats. If you use a non-magical gun you can easily have this unit drop its own faith to 0 and make itself magic immune without impeding its abilities in any way.
Slap Barehanded and Martial Arts on a Ninja and you've got an absolutely brutal physical attacker. Ninja's innate Dual Wield will get you two fist attacks per turn, and they'll each deal full damage. Ninjas have the highest speed growth in the game. Stack PA or Speed boosting equipment in every slot. Throw in versatility from Martial Arts and a good defensive reaction like Shirihadori or Auto Potion to help keep the unit safe.
Most heavy armor units fall off in the late game, but Dragoons are just plain good. Learning a high-level Horizontal or Vertical Jump ability will spot you everything further down the list, so you only have to grind for Horizontal Jump 8 and Vertical Jump 8 instead of having to learn the whole class. Jump is so great that you'll probably struggle to find anything useful to put on the secondary skillset, just because you want to Jump every single turn. You can put Equip Spear and Jump on a unit like Ramza's Ubersquire or a Geomancer in order to stack PA-boosting clothes on them. This takes up your Support ability, but can result in absurdly high damage on your Jumps, and since a Jumping unit spends so much time untargetable their armor is rarely relevant.
And of course this is all leading to the ultimate late-game build: the Arithmetician. Learn the Arithmeticks skills you need and then change classes to Wizard, because Arithmetician stats are atrocious. Then throw Holy-absorbing stuff on your whole team (Chameleon Robes can be bought in stores starting around mid-Chapter 2,) stand back and start spamming CT 5 Holy. You'll wreck all your enemies, heal all your allies, and all of it at no cost. You can quite easily beat the entire game with just Ramza by having him set up this way.
IId. The Pantheon of Busted Nonsense
THUNDER GOD CID. He's absurd. His base Job's stat growth is among the best in the game, he learns all of the crazy powerful sword skills, and he shows up with Excalibur equipped just for funsies. Teach him Hallowed Bolt, Crush Weapon, Shadowblade and Auto Potion and you're 95% of the way toward winning the game. Honestly, I suggest just not using this guy unless you're stuck, because he makes the last quarter of the game trivially easy.
ARITHMETICIANS. I covered this in the last segment, so I won't repeat myself. Arithmeticks is the craziest skillset in the game, and I'm kind of mad that the ports and remakes never even tried to fix it. (On the other hand, I'm not even sure what you could do to fix it besides replace it completely, and I have to admit it's a pretty cool idea.) I also suggest not using these unless you're bored and screwing around, because the game is over as soon as you field a proper math user.
TIME MAGIC. Haste and Quicken are just plain crazypants. Getting more turns is way better than doing a little extra damage. Time Magic is a force multiplier for your team: the better the rest of your stuff is, the stronger it is to get to use it over and over again.
SPEECHCRAFT. And I'm folding in Ramza's Steel ability here. For every 4 points you change a unit's Bravery or Faith in battle, 1 point of that becomes permanent. It's slow and grindy, but if you go out of your way to juice your party's Bravery it breaks other things. Manipulating your party's Faith can help you land your Time Magic and Mystic Arts almost 100% of the time. Shirihadori and Auto Potion are pretty good with a Bravery of 65, but at 97 they're completely insane. Hey, speaking of which...
SHIRIHADORI. One of the two best reaction commands in the game. Shirihadori blocks almost any physical attack Bravery% of the time, which means a unit with 97 base Bravery will be almost entirely immune to basic attacks. This might not have been such a big deal but the game loves to keep throwing Knights and Archers at you for the entire game so you can no-sell a whoooole lot of damage this way.
AUTO POTION. The other contender for best reaction ability in the game. Ideally all of your units will eventually have one or the other equipped by endgame. When the equipped unit takes any damage, they will use a Potion on themselves Bravery% of the time. If you have no regular Potions, the ability will use Hi-Potions. If you have none of those, then the ability will use X-Potions. This means you can sell off all of your useless regular and Hi-Potions to force this ability to always heal you for 150. It doesn't totally block the damage like Shirihadori, but it works even on magic damage and other effects that Shirihadori can't block. In addition, unlike Shirihadori you don't have to unlock a late-game class with a bunch of grinding. You just need 400 Chemist JP, and that's a job that literally every unit has unlocked.
BAREHANDED. With this equipped, your unarmed strikes gain a huge bonus to damage that can obsolete most of the game's weapons on a unit with high enough Bravery. In the late game, when you can put +7 PA on any unit that can wear clothes, this can easily be enough to one-shot anything, and you can put it on any Job you want. Put it on a Ninja to combine it with their innate Dual Wield ability for double the punching.
DUAL WIELD. The very best thing about Ninjas. Getting this is quite a grind, but it's all worth it. Dual Wielding is not fair. Ramza with an Excalibur in one hand and Ragnarok in the other will floor just about anything in one shot.
SWIFTNESS. The problem with a lot of magic abilities is their charge time. Early game it's not such a big deal, but late game it can be hard for slow-casting magic to keep up with a unit that can just walk up and kill a guy. Swiftness does a lot to close that gap. If you're using a Summoner at all you want this, and it also works wonders for Time Magic and Mystic Arts.
TELEPORT. The best movement ability bar none. Teleport lets you attempt to exceed your normal movement limit at the cost of a failure rate equal to 10% times the number of extra squares you tried to move; there is no failure rate when moving within your normal limits. If that's all it did it would still be great, but it also lets you go through walls, up cliffsides, etc. Certain battles like the duel with Gaffgarion and the Bethla Sluice get a whole hell of a lot easier with Teleport.
EXCALIBUR. Knight Swords are pretty sick in general, especially with Dual Wield and Bravery manipulation. But Excalibur is on a whole different level. It makes the equipped unit absorb holy damage, which is relevant to a lot of cheesy late-game strats. And oh, yeah, it also permanently gives them Haste. Of course, to obtain such a broken weapon requires you to complete the game's hardest optional- bahaha, I'm just kidding, Cid just shows up holding the damn thing three-fourths of the way through the game.
PERFUMES. The Chantage gives a unit permanent Reraise and Regen, which makes them effectively immortal. It can be stolen from Meliadoul or poached from Swine. The Tynar Rogue gives a +3 boost to PA and MA, boosts holy damage and gives the wearer permanent Protect, Shell and Haste. It can only be obtained from a special event, and only if you keep Agrias, Mustadio, Lavian and Alicia in your party. Both are female-exclusive equipment. The Tynar Rogue in particular is... I mean, just LOOK at it. It's got the best parts of Bracer and Excalibur, and that's not even half of what it does.
MAX PA SETUP. Bracer. Headband. Power Garb. This whole set can be bought in shops late-game, and combined it will give the equipped unit +7 PA. If you put this setup on a crappy low-level Monk with 5 PA, they will go from doing 25 damage per attack to 144. Put it on a higher-level unit and stack it with something like Jump or Dual Wield and you can approach a thousand damage in one turn. If anything, this setup is kinda overkill. There is similary a max MA setup, involving a Wizard Robe, Magepower Gauntlet, Lambent Hat and any weapon that boosts MA. It's weaker just because of how these things work out, but you can gather some pieces of it very early for a huge burst of magic damage.
SPEED GEAR. Sprint Shoes and a Thief Hat or Lambent Hat will give you a big old burst of speed. Unless you really need to hit like a truck it's smart to run this over the maximum PA or MA setups.
IIe. Tips and Tricks Some story events will lock you into a particular place and make you fight multpile battles in a row. Whenever this happens, use a second save slot for these fights. The game likes to put really tricky fights that heavily suggest a specific build at the end of these chains, and if you don't have what you need and can't leave to shop or train up you could be screwed. Keep multiple saves so you don't have to start the whole game over.
You can recruit new soldiers at the recruitment office in any town. You can choose genders, and Bravery, Faith and Zodiac sign will be randomly generated. You can see a unit's stats before you hire them and back out if you don't like what you see. It can be a little tedious, but at the beginning of the game you can hire a cadre of units with essentially customized stats and Zodiac signs if you reroll long enough. Getting just one female unit with good Faith to turn into a Wizard can be enough to steamroll Chapter 1. As a bonus, you get to name hired units, so you can name your whole party after your friends or favorite characters or whatever.
Every time you cross a green-colored space on the world map, there's a 50% chance you will get into a battle. You can save before crossing such a space and game the system by resetting if you get a battle. This can save you a lot of time just moving around, and will let you only get into fights when you intend to.
Propositions at bars are a good way to get your generic units some JP to help them start out in a new Job. You can game them by finding two non-encounter spaces right next to each other on the map and moving between them to advance time. Often you can pair this with the last tip about avoiding random encounters to finish Propositions very quickly and with no hassle.
The enemy AI will ignore units under the Doom status effect, because they assume it's going to die soon anyway. You can abuse this by equipping a Jujitsu Gi, which protects you from instant death effects. Put Doom on a unit with a Jujitsu Gi equipped and the AI won't attack them, but the unit will not actually die when the Doom counter runs out. This can make a unit effectively immortal for a short time.
III. Fair warning about a bunch of stuff that's going to kick your ass.
This is going to have some light spoilers, obviously. You shouldn't read on if you want to let the game surprise you. I also won't be listing every single challenging fight, just particularly nasty difficulty spikes and speedbumps.
IIIa. Dorter Trade City The Wake-Up Call. You've only done a handful of fights at this point and you have very few resources, and then Dorter shows up screaming, "Hope you like being outnumbered by enemies with a huge terrain advantage against you!" Countless new players have just quit the game here. The trick is to grind your party for awhile on Mandalia Plain before you come here. Don't just waltz in with your basic Squires and Chemists without any preparation, or you'll get crushed.
IIIb. Golgolada Gallows This is just a straight-up hard fight. Bring someone who can steal or break Gaffgarion's weapon to turn off his nasty sword skills. You might also want some way to Silence or Atheist the Time Mages.
IIIc. Lionel Castle One of the fights here is an infamous duel between Ramza and Gaffgarion, separated from the rest of the fight by a big castle wall. Once again, you can steal or break Gaffy's sword to make him a trivial weakling. Teleport or Ignore Height will let Ramza escape from the duel arena, or likewise allow one of your other units to get in and help. All of the units on the outside of the gate use lightning-based weapons and spells, so putting Rubber Boots on all of your party members can make them nearly invincible. (The knights can still break your gear, so don't bring anything you can't afford to lose.)
IIId. Riovanes Castle The most infamously difficult series of fights in the game, and all of them locked behind a multi-fight area with an easy first round. The graveyard of save files. You can win the duel between Ramza and Wiegraf in a couple of different ways. Auto Potion with a stock of X-Potions can help you survive his onslaught, especially if you've jacked up Ramza's Bravery. Equipping a Chameleon Robe will cause Wiegraf to not use his sword skills, which will cut his damage a lot. You can also just have Ramza run away and spam Tailwind on himself until he's getting five turns for every one of Wiegraf's, or simply equip him with a gun and have him keep his distance.
The followup fight with Belias is comparably pretty easy. Let him start charging a huge spell, then go beat the crap out of him while he's charging for bonus damage. The Mystic's Invigorate, Time Mage's Demi or Summoner's Lich can also deal massive damage to him. If all else fails, Ramza will keep any stat buffs from the Wiegraf duel so you can juice up his Speed like crazy and go wreck Belias yourself.
The last fight on the rooftop can seem absolutely impossible, because Rapha will frequently die before you even get a turn. You can mess with Jobs and levels until your speed is high enough to go first and win, but that can be a bit of a headache for a new player. A better option is to strip gear off of one of your weaker units. If a friendly unit has less HP than Rapha, Elmdor and his assassins will target them instead. All you have to do to win this fight is knock any one of the three enemies into critical health, and by this point in the game you should be able to do that in one shot with something.
IIIe. Finath River Not as infamous as the others on this list, but can be very frustrating depending on luck. The kinds of enemies that show up in this battle are random, and if you get a bad roll with lots of Black and Red Chocobos this can be very obnoxious. If this one is giving you trouble just reset until you get a lot of Yellows.

And that concludes the guide. Feel free to ask questions if there's something I didn't cover. And of course I welcome suggestions about anything I missed from other veteran players.
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The Meld (68): Distress.

The Meld (68): Distress.
They were waiting nervously for their two Fox Friends to wake up when…’
‘A signal, an ancient distress call, are you two also getting it..’
His associates admitted they were. All their communications systems automatically tuning in to calls on those particular channels long kept for such emergency purposes down through all the ages of space side civilisation.
‘Alert. Alert. Alert. Standoff. System and Planetary Imperial Quarantine is in effect.’
‘Imperial Priority Quarantine Alert. Breach. Breach. Breach’
‘Multiple contacts, positional data indicates you are in quarantine breach.’
‘Standby, Standby. Looping recorded informational transmission follows tone.’
‘Be warned. A full solar system and planetary quarantine is in effect, by order of the Imperial Inquisition of the First Spawn Empire.’
‘Leave this system with all dispatch, above all else do not seek to land on the lone world here - it is forbidden. Depart, you are in gravest peril. Do not break atmosphere. Do not open comms., to any other transmissions you may detect. It is not safe.’
After taking a deep breath and sounding more soul weary and far less commanding, the Gek voice then continued in a rather more casual tone as if adding a personal final statement.
‘It was, I now believe, a purposeful laboratory containment breach. An engineered - weaponised - Goop Strain loosed. A final Armageddon style security protocol our forces belatedly tripped in the laboratory. It did not get onboard us - not physically - our security too tight but it got into the heads of our Special Forces. It compromised our new Gesktech Combat Nanocomms. Curse the Heretic and all his past works, he has wrought a terrible revenge upon us his slayers.’
‘Taken unawares there was little hope against the very best of our own people. They have disabled the self destruct, brutally executed most of the crew and taken the remaining as hostages, but I cannot submit to their demands, not even under the former Captain’s coerced orders.’
‘They tortured him but it made no difference to me the protocols are clear, my responsibility unquestionable. I cannot let them have this ship, none of it will do that thing any good. As I speak, they are cutting their way into the bridge, (I am positive it will not take - them - too long). Little do they know I am not there, yet I still have firm mastery over the helm functions, at least for the moment.’
‘Soon - very soon - I must jump us all into the local star, it is the only way to be certain. I must prevent this ill reaching out to the Empire and beyond, such an outcome would be a final disgrace. I would crash us down into the Citadel, if only I could, but it yet has potent automated defences both active and passive systems. I dare not risk it, we might be taken down but remain repairable.’
‘There is no solution to be found here, to that mental sickness now effecting our people, there is just another weaponised form of corrupting alien contagion. Thus we Gek fall by the works of our own hands.’
‘I dare not wait much longer. I might lose control of the engines, worse the whole system might fall once again into that cursed space between space of which Geskhan became a master in his madness. I fear his echo might also live on down there not just the monster.’
‘Coming here has sorely tested my faith, no less than this ascendant Mania for Atlas. The Commodore is dead, the Planet with its incredible Library of secrets soon likely lost to our kind forever. Does the fall of this place somehow mark the beginning of the End Times in this sphere as was once foretold by the Quantum Seers of the data streams? I am embedding this warning and message in self-maintaining, (self-replicating at need), war-hardened micro sat., repeaters. They will hive through the asteroids nearby. I pray it is enough to keep all saner folk away.’
‘Long live the First Spawn Empire. Long live our glorious Emperor, last of his line. I have no family left to mourn me - at least none that I can recognise - no one to say goodbye to. This is - acting - Captain Logath of the Fifth, (on special assignment), Infinity of Watch, Inquisition Task Force Gamma. Grand Imperial Fleet, signing off.’
‘Alert. Alert. Alert. Standoff. System and Planetary Imperial Quarantine is in effect…’
‘Well that would have been handier perhaps, when we first arrived here.’ Efor complained.
“The signal must have been blocked by all that interference. Truly the disruption is weakening.”
‘It may not have been actively broadcasting earlier only just, due to the aforesaid disruption, detecting the presence of our off world communications systems.’
“Good point. I suppose it would conserve energy and resources then only when it detects trespassers transmit. I believe some long term beacons can act that way, going into a sort of standby mode when not needed.”
‘What do the specifics of how it works matter,’ Efor grumbled, ‘it is what it is. A weaponised Goop strain, they say. Is this then the true substance of our Dark Dreamer?’
‘Very possibly.’ Gryll stated, ‘I suppose such an opponent might explain much.’
“Indeed, notably its Overmind of the Monopods type emitting attributes and habits. The Overmind operates very akin to some rogue nanotech infused biology, especially the most aggressive contagious parasitic Goop strain outbreaks. Even though in outer form the Monopods appear far less menacing, being more discreet and discrete, by pretending, as they do, to be simple individualistic fauna.”
‘How do you best fight such a rare bio-mechanical menace as a Goop Spill?’ Efor asked.
“Not easily and very carefully, whilst maintaining the best possible anti-contagion protocols. What is it with Blood Cult Gek and Weaponising Goop? Too often I find these two factors in close proximity.”
‘Simple really, they are forever poking into dark Elder Tech profane sciences,’ Efor complained, ‘the exact sort of spheres were rogue nanotech infused biomass lurks and oozes. What exactly did you expect to find when you went hunting for a - Shadow - Library, First Spawn hugs and kisses?’ He mocked.
“It might be nice to fight a foe - for once - that is not trying to taint my DNA or scramble my brain waves or both. Gesktech Combat Nanocomms., makes you wonder about the inside of Tusk heads a little, to a lesser degree our Fox friends as well. The assumption that they have no modern neural net like tech under their skulls may in fact be somewhat inaccurate, some functional systems may develop faux naturally in them.”
‘Indeed such nanocomms., might well be little more than an early prototype of modern day neural net communications, such as those we use for our sendings and to speak with our equipment. I always imagined such to be Convergent Korvax inventions, but I suppose the tech might be founded on principles that are much, much earlier than that. Neural interfaces even having a common root with say Sentinel systems. Clearly those machines also have highly advanced communication links and they have perhaps always been here: From the very beginning of days, before fleshy life squelched its way up from the biological slime pits of Atlas creation.’
“From slime we came and to ooze we may yet return. I never really thought of Goop as the ultimate circle of Great Machine life but in a weird way… also Elder Torrance did hint at such possibilities. Agents of super-evolution gone rogue.”
‘Too many Baleron Ear Slugs, Tor. The things you people put in your ears.’ Efor mocked.
“They are a Gek invention.” Tor reminded.
‘Aye, for export. Seriously, you think we locals rush to stick those things in our ears? Have you seen the teeth on them? Are you mad?’
“But putting them in other orifices are the wrong options, because well... they are - ear - slugs.”
‘Great Machine Tor, how can a sometimes smart Traveller also be so stupid? What about your much talked about anti-contagion protocols? I mean it is bound to be safe, sticking a toothy alien slug in your ear, because that is where the machine suggests it is supposed to go.’
“Some things are just different. Always a few exceptions to general rules. Without Ear Slug and Brain Evacuation - combination - therapy I doubt we Torrance would be the Interlopers we are today.”
‘One spawned every day. Smarter Gek only export the nasty stuff that wiser locals refuse to consume, and keep the very best things for themselves. I mean you really think we drink that swill they dare to call Gek Ale on most Space Stations. Pah, back home it is all micro-breweries of the highest quality. You have probably never ever even tasted a proper Gek Space Ale. Sometime, sometime you will have to come with me to one of our Home Freighters, then I will give your Suit a treat you will not soon forget.’
‘I think we are rather veering off topic.’ Gryll chastised.
Efor just shrugged. ‘I give up. Such nectar of the Old Gods would probably be wasted on you folk anyway. Pretty sure it takes a Gek to truly appreciate a proper Gek Space Ale just as it takes a Vy’keen to love another Vy’keen smashing them in the face. We all have our little specialities. However, seriously Tor, you have to stop putting things in your ear, and having Korvax sticking needles in your skull. Forget about the weird habits of this - Elder - Torrance, no wonder he went a bit odd and retired. Hearing First Spawn Gek voices I heard, used to have whole conversations with himself no doubt. What was it? Grandmaster Muu, and all of that stuff.’
“Muu is real: A digital Echo that infected my forebear’s Atlas Suit.”
‘Of course, him hearing voices had nothing to do with all the brain slugs and evacuations at all.’
“Come on Efor. You know all about Blood Cult Grandmasters and how prone they are to backing themselves up as Digital Echoes, saving themselves in Monoliths and so on the sneaky devils. Some of them just outright refuse to decently die and be Atlas Reborn more naturally, if Atlas would birth them again without fixing them. They were both power and control mad and had no intent to ever let go of life. Then again I don’t really trust those Atlas Interfaces either, I am positive some of them are corrupted in some manner too. Not good vibes at all. Worse the Old First Spawn learned far too much questionable stuff from domineering the Korvax, far too many scarily deep under the surface digital secrets.”
‘Occasionally you are like a walking conspiracy theory.’ Efor replied.
“When did you get this sceptical?”
‘I was always like this, sometimes you just don’t listen.’
Tor was not completely convinced, beginning to suspect that the GRS had also subtly effected Efor’s attitudes from the Gek he had previously known. The idea deeply bothered him. It was almost akin to partially losing his friend. Watching friends being overwritten could almost be as bad as losing a part of yourself to a Great Machine edit. So hard to hold onto all that you are here, things change.
“Try not to entirely forget - yourself - Efor - and where you came from. You have been there, done that and seen things, even if some of those things were terrible abominations that makes them potentially no less vitally useful information in rare places and times such as this. Digital Echoes are no First Spawn fairy tale, and a common enough tool of Grandmasters in particular. You kill them and they just pop up again as a fresh incarnation sooner or later. Maybe even the Dark Archivist Geskhan is not, as dead as we imagine such, maybe he is archived up there - waiting to live again - in this or some even later age. You heard what that acting Captain said.”
‘I don’t know Tor, sometimes I think it is all just Blood Cult Leadership propaganda. They weave all this mystique around themselves, all that ritual smoke and mirrors. You know, the story that killing them just means they will come back stronger could be pure misinformation to bamboozle folks into not even trying. How does that make any sense? Even if they do come back, chances are they must arrive weaker at first having to rebuild connections and a following over again, probably just as more common - Atlas - reborn souls do. I say kill every First Spawn Pretender, and worry about any whispery echoes later.’
“I never said don’t kill them. If anyone ever needed put down for everyone else’s good it is generally the surviving Grandmasters.”
‘Yet you started dealing with one who claims to be a Grandmaster Clone.’
“You know that is different. If we could reform a great many Blood Cult Leaders - change their narrative - through Reefee, we could end an awful lot of diabolical Cult activity.”
‘Sometimes you are a beautiful dreamer Torrance, but get real there is no way that is ever going to actually work - they are what they are down to the molecule and below. I doubt the KVC believe in so-called First Spawn Survivor Reformation. Reform is just not in some people not by choice anyway. If you ask me the KVC will just use Reefee to identify as many Cultists as possible and then at some point strike out to eliminate them all with mechanical efficiency. A great cleansing of a few sectors of space - for a time - but there will probably always be new First Spawn Pretenders popping up. There will always be some attracted to, or snared by, the Dark.’
‘Of course, Reefee will have his own game going too, both sides seeking to manipulate the other. We are probably well out of that mess at the moment, and in truth we might be wisest to keep well away from it. I am lucky in a way, I can hardly go back now after trying to kill the beast. If you are wise Tor when you leave this place you should just jump on to new regions and new things as well. Don’t let that Broken Prophet do you anymore damage. He has no hold on you beyond what you give to him. I know some of your people died but that is just life and death in space, is it not? Living in the void somewhat dangerous.’
“Reefee could still genuinely be uniquely reformed - in my opinion - even if he has some lasting bad habitual ways of doing things. Besides, anyone can pick up some operational bad habits, so much in life is compromise.”
‘I now wonder if Efor might be right about this one. Can a being truly claim to be reformed, yet still use the same old tools of his previous corruption the way Reefee so readily does?’ Gryll asked.
“A question I have also had to ask myself. Even directly fighting the Dark when do you cross the line and risk your own place within the light? The Dark taints us with every contact, it seeps into our consciousness our very souls, if you are not careful it can teach us paranoia and despair among other ills. Yet some fools have to contest it, lest it roll unchecked over everyone and brings us all closer to the dread End Times.”
“I am happy, for example, to keep PGS-5C Liberating Hive Worlds of the Overmind of Monopods. Also to continue contesting the most vile and dangerous of mutated Goop Strain corruptions such as the Burrowing Horrors, as and when those fiends are encountered. Sadly, though to fight these things well, you have to know them, sometimes inside and out even to let yourself be touched a little by them. Thus such drastic measures as rarer: Spore Tainted Balaron Ear Slug and Brain Evacuation combo therapy to better know and resist the Overmind - of course such things always take something of a toll - even if just on the tally of your overall sanity.”
“It may well be that the Elder Torrance somewhat overdid it. Still, most days I believe Muu was / is real, not just a figment phantom delusion of a mind too mired in darkness. The deepest abysses of space can be genuinely full of lurking terrors, and we Torrance poke into a lot of dangerous spaces within space. Our actions rather making us magnets for trouble. Yet I doubt we can be any other way. Maybe it really did all start with some mythical book in another shared level of existence.”
Efor looked serious.
‘We ought to be careful.’ the Gek said. ‘I know how obsessive it can all become. I know how it wraps around you like a great slime dripping grasping tentacle. I know all about the taint in the void places. I have pranced in forbidden ceremonies in lonely wastes and been washed in the blood of innocent victims. When you come back to your right mind, you can scrub and scrub but that stain never comes completely off. Yet we must fight those shadows that dim the light from our minds Tor. We must fight it. I had to try and kill Reefee - my sanity - demanded it. There was no other way. He tasked me.’ Efor confessed.
‘Don’t make deals with them, don‘t even try. That is what they do, they make corrupting deals that trade away the goodness in your soul before you even realise it. It all seems reasonable at the time. There is always good reasons at first, even seemingly good deeds. I remember how they fed - even healed - some younger runaway Gek almost gently parenting them but only at first. You can’t trust anything they say or do. They are strangers to the truth, facts burn them, they live within their own esoteric occult reconstructions of reality then slowly fold you into the same horrid domains, until one day you are so mazed you cannot tell fact from fiction and can find no way out.’
‘It is a process Tor and it is insidious. They find ways to get under your skin like phasing nanites, they find what you want - what you think you need - and they twist and twist it, using it against you. Blood Cult Leader types promise you the multi-verse but ultimately just feed you blood and faecium. Look at those Tusks, it is exactly the same process. By the love of reality the Dark Dreamer has them eating their own former kindred and thinking it a noble uplifting thing. If the Mythic Darks are real how they must laugh at the injuries we do to our own kind in their horrid blasphemous unmentionable names under the Horned Hourglass.’
“It is true, is the same with the Overmind of Monopods, it just emits and watches the chaos ensue. Still, Reefee is an issue for another day. How does the new intelligence of this message change our plan?”
‘I am not sure it needs change them at all,’ Efor said. ‘at least, not if our immediate plan is now to foment a Slave Revolt.’
‘I agree, this only really potentially effects how we later tactically approach, (or perhaps opt not to approach), the Mountain and the Library. You two, I assume, did not pass over that bit about auto defences. Perhaps attempting to land directly at the Citadel, when we get our ships back, is not such a clever option either but again that is something for a more distant strategy meeting. Still, we should all give some thought to these matters between. Can a loosed - weaponised - Goop Strain, (if that is the truer nature of the Dreamer), be assassinated in the terms we were previously imagining?’ Gryll asked.
Tor realised he was wondering that himself, how spread out for example might such an entity be? For all that they had heard on some levels they still knew very little about the true - present - form of what they ultimately faced.
“Did that Priest you questioned ever mention if anyone ever saw the Dreamer in their Dark Dreams, and if so how it appeared to them?”
‘From what I gathered all they ever see are shadowy forms, often accompanied by strange sucking rasping and leathery creaking sounds.’
“I think I know those sounds too well, from those abandoned buildings. More confirmation of a sort.”
‘You might well be right. Of course, what those that dream: Feel, hear and envision may only be what the Dreamer chooses to send to them, so it may be far from completely honest and reliable intelligence.’
‘I hate misinformation.’ Efor complained.
“It is what it is.”
They broke up then for a time to each deeply think their own morbid thoughts about all these dark matters whilst going about the lighter daily chores of camp life. Watches, cooking, eating, occasionally one of them taking a brief scout around the general area to check for any Tusk or other significant activity. Tor noted the positions of smoke from various campfires during his own wanderings, some obviously coming from several fires close together. Nahrl might have been able to tell them what places such concentrations hailed from. Sadly, Nahrl still slept like the undead. Tor did a lot of general pacing about as well. He wondered what else had changed out there in wider Euclid due to the Cascade of the Great Reality Shift. He supposed he would have to check in with the Anomaly of Nada and Polo when he finally left this system. They often had a good handle on some trends.
Tor began to fear the Foxes might be out for a long time, yet Nahrl awoke, seemingly reasonably recovered, before the dark of night fell.
“You must have been physically and mentally exhausted Nahrl. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone nod off then sleep quite as soundly as that - ignoring perhaps Efor after he has been on a Gek Ale bender. I am sorry, it seems we have put both of you under undue pressure and strain. I know now it was wrong of us. Too selfish, to get both of you so deeply involved in this madcap venture with so little mental and physical preparation. Once again, I feel ashamed in particular for convincing you to guide us whilst you are still - so obviously - convalescing from your earlier injuries.”
‘I just damaged my tail again when that damned Tusk fell on me, it is no big thing, especially away from the Warren. Out here, in the wild, - how my tail looks - hardly seems to matter half as much. Maybe getting out here, is just what I needed. When hurt, arguably it is sometimes much better to work on the needs of others than to dwell too heavily on your own injuries.’
“A fine - very adult - sentiment, yet at the time I am sure your hurt was a deep stress inducing injury, and then everything else that has happened to us all since, beginning with the sudden exodus of Taran following the Pilgrimage. Then that shocking news of the Third and our absurd response by invoking an insane march against an impregnable Mountain fastness full of bio-mechanical nightmare creations, for noting less than an attempted God Slaying against some direly potent entity. An entity that mostly abroad, is naught but a legendary rumour of terror and dream delusion.”
“Now Efor suggests we delay that march in favour of first instigating your Slave Revolt scheme and all because of the Sentinels. Not actually a bad idea - in some ways - but perhaps this newly formed Pentacle - is in no condition - to be considering starting a resistance movement, never mind some improbable story style heroic quest against an Evil Goop Strain Godling of the Outer Darkness.”
‘If you want to help free some of my kin, you cannot possibly abandon that task now simply because Jhasq and I had a short moment of weakness. I don’t know what happened to Jhasq earlier, but I am guessing I just fell asleep, that hardly means I am unfit for duty. I am sure I only meant to rest for a brief moment. It seems I am slightly out of condition - probably from my stay at the Halls of Healing - but with a couple of days of stout activity, then I swear, (even with this damaged tail strapped behind me), I will be almost as good as before my injury in that Bhargl fight.’
Tor decided to just nod to that statement.
‘How exactly is Jhasq?’
“Still resting at the moment. Clearly she too has also been seriously stressed out and exhausted by recent events. From the betrayal against her by the Elders and Matriarchs she long served all the way down to this damnable rumour of ongoing massed sacrifices of enslaved Foxes.”
‘I didn‘t think enough about the pressure of these ills upon her,’ Nahrl admitted, ‘Jhasq always so indomitable to me. I know she felt horribly upset about the Surgery thing, maybe even unjustly guilty - as if she actually purposely took that bribe willingly - but I know she never would, that hardly being her intent. She was honest enough, you three do know that? It was just those that gave her the apprenticeship that were not faithful in their designs.’
“We know.” Tor promised.
‘I am glad you three understand! The whole thing enrages me. One matter for them to treat me a bit shabbily - I caused a little trouble before - and was I know at times insubordinate to my orders. I always thought I knew better, and I got myself captured like a fool. Yet Jhasq, Jhasq never did anything wrong as far as I can tell. She always worked exceptionally hard for the Warren as a Little Mother and for both the Elders and Matriarchs, it is hardly just, Tor. None of it is just. She should be back in Taran now, living in respect and comfort, whilst given something like that Surgery Apprenticeship - not as an infamous bribe - but as a well earned clean reward.’
“I know. It must be eating her up a little on the inside. Not just the betrayal itself, but losing. (at this point in her life), that vital career opportunity as well. Then like senseless barbarians, we of the Old Triumvirate drag her out here into danger. I don’t know what to do now for the best, Efor. We all have some hard decisions to make. It is all a bit of a mess my friend it might be that we must split.”
‘Not on our account. Anyway, things have been a bit of a mess here for a very long time.’
“Still, that message we picked up: A loosed - militarised - Goop Strain in the Library, the Tusks set all around the Mountain. The Stalkers recalled as an inner guard. The return of the Sentinels. Efor has pointed out though that some of these events could add up to an unexpected opportunity, but the scheme proposed, (as all our schemes of the moment), brings grave risks. We could still use the help of you two Foxes - so very much - maybe more now than ever before, if we opt to try to instigate a slave freeing revolt. However, do we have any right to ask so much from you two again and again? It is not serving you well being our friends. I am beginning to fear being my friend in particular is often a hard road.”
‘Of course, you have a right to ask us to step up. They are our people Tor, flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood. That is what the Elders and Matriarchs sometimes ignore, treating these outland Foxes almost as if savages belonging to another species, and all just because they abandoned our Treasure Spaces ages ago. To be honest Tor, I have to my shame - in my vanity - looked down on them too sometimes, for example, at first whilst in captivity. Especially in the beginning - they seemed pathetically weak to me - both witless and terrified. Yet in the end, many of them found a spirit of fortitude from somewhere to endure that captivity and keep living, whilst I, I virtually committed a form of intransigent suicide via refusing to play the Tusk’s game.’
‘No Tor, this is our fight even more than yours. If anyone should be feeling bad about encouraging others to fight on their behalf, it is us should feel bad for encouraging you three. It should be all us Warren Foxes working together that start this uprising not merely two of us and you off world folk. I feel ashamed and embarrassed that Taran alone has not done much more. Yet there is no point weeping about that fact.’
“Nonsense Nahrl. We were already engaged in a conflict with the Blood Cults, to me this struggle against the Tusks and the Dark Dreamer is just one part of a far vaster war waged against the intruding influence of the doctrines of the Mythic Darks and their Servants of the End Times: From the bio-drone vastness of the Overmind of the Monopods, down to the many scattered Blood Cult Gek Factions and beyond. We came here seeking, (what seemed at the time), useful intelligence, to prove or disprove the validity of a questionable alliance with an almost turncoat figure, a personage who may in fact be attempting to play all sides to his private advantage.”
‘You really do live a complicated life Traveller Torrance.’
“Without doubt, but it is all my own stupid fault so I deserve no sympathy. I could so easily just travel away from it all, leave every issue far behind me and some days I am cravenly tempted. In a way that is what we Travellers are supposed to do: Just record things and move along, not linger too long, not get too involved just pass on by. We Torrance Iterations - we are Anomalous aberrations at best - and I fear we spread our anomalous differences around sometimes almost like an infection ourselves, recruiting others into our messy perspective on existence.”
“I’ll bet Gryll sometimes wonders how he ended up involved in all of this, my Gek friend Efor over there too. We Torrance can at best be somewhat challenging people to know. Full of mad ideas and with troublesome opponents.”
‘Yet you are here Tor, and whilst you are here and fighting for us, don’t expect Jhasq or myself to leave your side. I suppose, I really should not speak for Jhasq, but I am certain she would say no different. By the Father, but a short while ago she virtually volunteered me, perhaps fearing my will weakening a little. I admit what now huddles inside that Mountain scares me deeply Tor. However, I would not abandon the Pentacle - as you have named us - not for life itself. If you are going to fight the Tusks and free Slaves, I am positive we will be right beside you all of the way.’
“I mostly expected no less. Yet I don’t want either of you to try and do anymore than you are capable of Nahrl. If we start pushing either of you too hard you must tell us immediately. We three are fortified by our technology, it is harder for you Foxes. I wish for example I had spare armour, personal shields and multi-tools I could give you. If you need to rest, you must rest and so on. We all have physical limitations, even Gryll in his own way, though sometimes he outright amazes me.”
‘Looking at him, I also wonder how the Gek Spawn conquered such Metal Slaves.’
“I think partly it was because, in the beginning, the Korvax had something very akin to your Peace of the Mother. The Korvax were not interested in fighting anyone, to them it was barbarism and undignified. The Gek took advantage of ironically the better machine nature of the digital folk. Sometimes civilisation fares poorly against focused greedy savagery. Still, the Korvax are not all as they were anymore. I would hate to go up against the KVC, whilst even Korvax Rogue Space Pirates can be a deadly force to be reckoned with. I guess as much as something of the Korvax entered the Modern Gek, something of the Ancient Gek entered some of the Korvax. The old saying is true, we are changed by all those we meet.”
‘Sometimes for the better friend Tor. Do not be concerned about my health. I am well enough, and I will be very surprised if Jhasq is not bossing us all around in no time at all.’
“I hope so. She has a good organisational spirit about her, that one.”
A little less than three quarters of an hour later it was Jhasq’s turn to wake.
‘What happened?’ She asked looking up at Gryll as he offered her a bowl half filled with water.
‘What do you remember?’ The Korvax replied.
She lapped up a good mouthful then setting the bowl down stretched her arms, her ears twitching. ‘There was a pain, a sharp pain in my head.’
‘Before that?’
She rubbed at her muzzle. ‘We were travelling, it was turning into another especially fine day. A little light rain but it was cooling and refreshing not at all troublesome. Yet we were trying to keep to cover because of the possible Tusks, staying off the ridgelines and somewhat shy of any too well travelled trails as well.’
‘Nothing else?’
‘A Sentinel Drone, there was a Sentinel Drone. I think it actually gave Nahrl a terrible fright for it almost popped up out of nowhere. I actually heard that buzzing they make first, and then there it was, scanning around itself as if searching for something. A part of me stupidly worried it might be looking for us. We fled away from it and then that sharp pain and waking. Did something hit me?’
‘Not as far as I could tell, you just passed out without an obvious cause. How are you feeling now?’
‘Hungry mostly, I was a bit thirsty too. Blessings for the water.’
‘You should drink it all. You may be a little dehydrated that can cause headaches. Sometimes it is as if the rain drives the liquid out of you biological folk rather that it seeping into you.’
‘If hungry you should eat plenty as well. Maybe that was partly the issue as well, low brood sugar. Possibly with all this unusual hiking activity and general stress you have been burning up liquid and calories.’
‘Nothing quite like that has ever happened to me before.’
‘Stress can be a silent killer as well,’ Gryll warned, ‘it can have an effect on every other biological system, you need to look after yourself Jhasq - in both mind and body - those two are after all somewhat linked in you meat sacks.’ He joked. ‘That recent bad news and so soon especially after fleeing your Warren home of so very many long years, then this tense journey through Tusk dominated lands - all very stressful I imagine.’
‘I suppose it has been.’
‘Do you remember feeling unwell at all?’
‘Not really, I just remember that sudden pain like invisible needles were stabbing into my brain.’
‘Yes, I think you should definitely drink plenty of water.’
She did not argue with the advice she picked up the bowl.
‘Not too quickly though.’
A shadow fell over them.
‘Glad to see you are finally awake. Feeling better?’ Nahrl asked.
‘Sorry I passed out on you all. I probably gave you all a bit of a scare. I feel something of a fool. I never realised I had let myself get dehydrated and undernourished.’
‘Anyone on the march, needs to eat and drink a bit more than normal.’ Nahrl advised. ‘The rain can fool too. When surrounded by water it is too easy not to consider that you might actually be getting dehydrated it seems to run counter to logic, but being wet on the outside is hardly the same as being properly hydrated on the inside.’
‘I know, I am no cub. I guess I have just not been monitoring myself properly.’
‘As Tor was telling me - we have both been under a lot of stress - probably a lot more than we realised. It is also too easy to forget how big an impact the mind has on the health of the body.’
‘Exactly, all the things I have been saying.’ Gryll stated. ‘In many ways you biological folk are much more complex machine systems than us Korvax in our Casings. So many factors interact to make up a person. It is fascinating, I think I would quite like to have been a proper doctor myself, if my life had gone other ways.’
‘You could still become one. I mean can’t you just upload and assimilate the necessary informational files. Then maybe you could even teach me a few new things.’ Jhasq stated at first in good humour but then looking just a little melancholic.
‘Perhaps I could if I was still Convergent but I am now what they name a Rogue Korvax - an exile of sorts - to some, no better than a Banished Outlaw. One who has renounced my digital heritage as part of the broader Convergence, rebelling against the normal ways of my culture. Also by selfishly refusing to share this body, a Casing thief.’
‘Did they betray you in some way?’ Jhasq asked.
‘If they did, it was long ago, when they decided to make us all machines, I never got a vote on the matter being generated after the deed. I am far from convinced that was the marvellous advancement they proclaim it to be. Oh sometimes I am proud of all the things I can do, even as a more limited Rogue Korvax, for even us more wayward digitals have an ego. Yet I wonder what it would be like to be what we were before this metal. You know Tor believes we all killed ourselves, and that all that is left of us is digital ghosts animating Machine Casings as if technological space age zombies. Sometimes I am not sure if he is entirely wrong.’
‘You are a good person Gryll,’ Jhasq replied, ‘too obviously much more than just a ghostly machine.’
‘Just a ghostly machine,’ Gryll repeated, ‘Too funny really, some Convergent Korvax would say you are - just - biology. Truth is, we all have our little prejudices and perspectives. I suppose what I am is debatable, and presently irrelevant. Get some food Jhasq and don’t forget to wash it down with more water. Only after that we will have the essential meeting about what comes next.’
‘I would rather just get back into action at this point.’ Nahrl interjected.
‘That does have a certain appeal.’ Gryll agreed.
‘Mostly I think they want to know if we are still with them, if they start a campaign of Slave Revolt. What do you say Jhasq are you still with us?’ Nahrl asked, ‘we could save the rest of the Pentacle a lot of useless words.’
‘Of course.’ Jhasq replied.
‘There you go Gryll. It is all settled,’ Nahrl stated, ‘I even have a firm idea about what our first target should be.’
A little later they were overlooking a stronghold.
submitted by Brain_evacuated to NmsMindwarArchive [link] [comments]

Update 5 Patch Notes are here!

Hi folks,

Official patch notes for update 5 are here! Enjoy!









5 VS 5


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Don't know what to play? Small list of games I enjoyed, from 1980 to 2016

Sooo, someone told me recently that I had played A LOT of very varied games, for a very long time, and gave me the idea of making a small list of games I enjoyed by year, which is what I did. It got a bit out of hand.
This is a personal list of what I enjoyed, there are still many games I haven't played, and some big titles I didn't enjoy, so I know that is missing.
Games with title link as bold are the ones that stood out the most to me.




  • Sokoban Great puzzle game, many remakes available.
  • Pitfall! A classic platformer, didn't age that well though.
  • Ms. Pac-man Fixed everything that the original Pac-man (1980) had wrong.
  • Centipede Atari 2600 version.
  • Tron Totally trippy game.


  • Alley Cat Reaaaally hard game, with very questionable colour palette, but I spent many hours on that one.
  • Digger A classic and amazing game, also had a ton of more recent remakes.
  • Bomberman Another game with countless remakes, many of them are worth a shot.
  • Dragon's Lair A game that made people have a glimpse of what gaming could become, graphically amazing, makes Dark Souls feel like a walk in the park.
  • Pole position II Looked really good at that time, with great gameplay too.


  • Boulder dash Another one that spawned countless remakes.
  • Drugwars Later remade as Dope Wars end of 90s, simple trading game.
  • Marble Madness Interesting physics / puzzle / racing game.
  • King's Quest Forget about the 1990 remake, the original (and its many sequels) are the way to go, will probably feel slow today though.
  • 1942 One of the first Capcom hits. Really good WWII vertical scroll shooter.


  • Rush'n Attack Aka Green Beret, shoot'em up. Was never really acclaimed as a great game, but I loved it.
  • Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Gets harder every year considering this game kind of teaches you geography and countries, and those things changes (hello Soviet Union?).
  • Ultima IV For me the best Ultima, loved it so much I created an entire map of the world myself using squared A4 paper (my copy, despite being official, didn't include the map) to help me get around.
  • Dragon Buster Overall an average game, but it was one of the first to introduce a few things that are now common in video games (double jump and health bar). Still had lots of fun with it.


  • Yie Ar Kung-Fu II Lots of time spent on that one, simple fighting game, but with 2 players you could control a woman, in a fighting game, that was never seen before.
  • Enduro Racer Quite a hard dirt bike game, in which you could modify your bike with points gained depending on your result in each race. This mod system made the game really interesting IMO, finding the optimal bonuses depending on how many points you got was nice.
  • Bubble Bobble Oh god, just play this if you haven't played it yet. Like, now, stop reading, go and have fun.
  • Slap Fight Played on Thomson version, really good scrolling shooter, full power-up was crazily overpowered.
  • Les cavernes de Thenebe A game you probably never heard about, looked like this, basically lots of challenging puzzles.
  • Vampire Another unknown title I absolutely loved, very challenging game where you play a random guy whose car break down in front of a castle, at midnight, and set off to save a damsel in distress, kidnapped by vampires, and witches, and dragons, and...


  • Maniac Mansion While the game is amazing, I wouldn't recommend playing it unless you loved its sequel: Day of the Tentacle (1993). This one was not remastered and didn't really age well, it already felt old when the sequel was released.
  • Fantasy Zone II Really fun side-scrolling shooter game. Trippy colourful world.
  • Golvellius An amazing underrated Action/RPG on Master System, aged quite well too.
  • Rainbow Islands Technically the sequel to Bubble Bobble, but a totally different game. Very addictive platformer with some neat ideas. Players "shoot" rainbows that serves both as weapon and platforms on which they can walk. Really recommending this one, even now.
  • Wizball Such a unique game, I spent hours just trying to fully understand it. Very challenging and absolutely amazing once you start mastering the controls and power ups.
  • R-Type There should be no need to introduce this one. If you feel there's a need, you haven't played it, so stop reading and do it, now.
  • Asteroids Basic but fun and somewhat challenging game (Atari 7800).
  • Renegade While this game was from 1986 originally, it was released in 1987 for DOS. Basic beat'em up, but the best at that time.


  • Captain Blood Amazing concept, hard and sometimes extremely confusing. A sequel, Commander Blood, was made in 1994 too, while praised, I really preferred the original.
  • Ghouls'n Ghosts Remained one of the best platformer to me for years.
  • Psychic World An underrated game for me. Not very well known action platformer. I absolutely loved the power-ups in that one. Some levels had really great and challenging design.
  • Scramble Spirits I'd say this was one of the best vertical scrolling shooter from that time. 2 players mode was amazing.
  • Super Mario Bros 3 Best Mario game for me, wasted many, many hours on this game. Still enjoyable nowadays.
  • Battle Chess While it would now look basic, this game probably made some people start chess just to watch all those crazy capture animations. Lots of fun references too. But in the end, it's just a chess game.
  • Arcade Volleyball An extremely basic game, but soooo addictive. Really good with friends. Physics were also quite good for that time, many remakes and "inspired" games came out mostly in the 90s.


  • Prince of Persia Incredible animation and graphics for the year.
  • Sim City The game that would make city building a popular genre, and start a long series of games, spin-offs and rip-offs.
  • Darius II (aka Sagaia) I'd say this game was, along with R-Type (1987) the best shoot'em up from that time. Sadly, this one if much less known.
  • Wonderboy III Completed this one countless times, great action-adventure game that aged well, still playing it from time to time. Each chapter ends in yourself being transformed into a different animal with different weaknesses and strengths. A remake is planned for 2017, I really hope it manages to keep the spirit of this game.
  • Xenon 2 You can only have a megablast playing this. Sorry. Amazing shooter with shop to buy/sell power ups, very challenging, and once over you can start again in very-very challenging mode.
  • Ys I & II An improves version of the first 2 games (from 1987 and 1998), really great Action RPG for that time, might seem a bit dated today, Ys I & II Chronicles+ (2013) is more recommended.
  • Populous If you haven't heard of Peter Molyneux, this is the game that absolutely launched his career in video gaming industry. He's basically seen as one of the geniuses of video games history, that guy worked on so many amazing games (Theme Park (1994), Magic Carpet (1994), Dungeon Keeper (1997), Black & White (2001), Fable (2004), etc.). Populous might be the very first "god simulator", a management/strategy game where you play the role of a god. You had to trade your life to end this game (500 levels to beat).


  • The Secret of Monkey Island Still the best point & click for me. Nothing beats the original Guybrush Threepwood.
  • Parodius! Lots of nonsense, then more nonsense. And then, nonsense.
  • Red Baron Might be a bit vomit-inducing today, but an amazing 3D plane simulator for the year.
  • Rick Dangerous 2 Great platformer with puzzle elements, that fixed everything that was wrong in the first game. Some say the wait for Half-Life 3 is too long, but many still wait for the sequel of that one.
  • Ski or Die! Follow up of Skate or Die (1988), fun game with 5 different mini-games, snowball blast was, well, a blast.


  • Another world The intro alone made me launch this game many, many times, recent remake seem good, haven't tried it yet.
  • Scorched Earth A very simple, yet entertaining game, basically trying to hit each other with artillery. Single player was uninteresting, but 2 players games were amazing.
  • Lemmings A really interesting concept, great game that had many sequels.
  • The Blues Brothers Loved the gameplay, and music, also a great 2 players game.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog There's no such thing as 'too fast'. Every platformer felt slow after this one.
  • Civilization One of the first game that made me lose the concept of time, still playing it despite the outdated graphics.
  • Moktar Challenging platformer, later released as Titus the Fox, but I think the music and sound changed, and the original were awesome.
  • Micro Machines Perfect time waster, especially in multiplayer mode.
  • Populous II Sequel to, and as hard to describe as Populous (1989). As the first one, the game was gigantic, with this time 1000 levels.


  • Dune Amazing adventure game, followed by some amazing first glimpse at what would become RTS in the last stage of the game, definitely worth playing.
  • Dune II Didn't age as well as the first one, RTS went a long way since then, while this game was not technically the first RTS, it's one that set the entire basis of the genre and inspired countless titles since then. Played through the entire game many times, and can still get into it nowadays (despite the very annoying limits, such as single unit selection, and the need to select action before doing anything). I'm still amazed Westwood Studios managed to get these 2 games out in the same year.
  • Desert Strike Isometric shoot'em up with very smooth gameplay.
  • Zool Beautiful, smooth, very fast and hard platformer.
  • Flashback Incredible animation and graphics for the year (yeah, I said that 3 years ago). Forget about the 2103 remake.


  • Prehistorik 2 Sequel to Prehistorik (1991), this platformer was simply amazing. Really beautiful game, with lots of details and hidden content, had a really high replayability.
  • Day of the Tentacle One of the best point and click ever made. Really great graphics for the year, funny and witty game. Full of characters you'll remember 25 years after playing. A remake is available, go get it.
  • Doom Do I need to say anything about that one? This game was simply a revolution in the land of FPS, so much the genre was basically called Doom-like for years after this release.
  • Kyrandia 2 - The Hand of Fate An underrated point and click, sometimes twisted (you'll get the reference if you've played it enough). Definitely worth at least a playthrough, while this is the 2nd game in the series (of 3), there's no need to play the first game to understand it.
  • Princess Maker 2 Sequel to Princess Maker (1991), while the first game was already great, this is the game that would make the series popular. Your role in this game is to raise a princess from age 10 to 18, choosing what she is going to study, or what jobs she'll be doing, each action influencing the character stats. A lot of specific events can also happen, in which the outcome can be decided by your choices or her statistics. Really high replayability, with lots of different outcomes (74 different endings), not always very SFW (like, she can end up working as a "bondage queen").
  • Shadow of the Comet One of the games based on HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu. The game was really, really good, but messed up by having bad controls. A sequel was also made, Prisoner of Ice (1995), but was overall less interesting.


  • The Lost Vikings While the game was released in 1993 on SNES, I listed it in 1994 because its best edition came out this year, adding some content to the original game. Good mix of platform and puzzle games. First big success of Blizzard Entertainment, which left many legendary games.
  • Warcraft While The Lost Vikings was a big success for Blizzard, it was nothing compared to the first Warcraft game, which started a long (and loved) series of games.
  • Asuka 120% Burning Fest Not a very well known fighting game, but an amazing one. 100% female characters, with very varied fighting styles. Many versions were made, some feel less dated than the original.
  • Descent The sense of freedom of movement you got in that game was amazing. One of the very few games for which I'd recommend getting a joystick, made it so immersive. Probably the best gameplay of any full 3D game available at that time. Level design was also really clever, especially in solo mode.
  • Raptor An exceptionally good looking shooter for that time. Enemies were a mix of flying and ground (and water) units and buildings, and you had to learn to switch between weapons adapter to each of them. This game seemed to have somewhat resurrected recently, showing up again on Steam/Gog and even had an updated release in 2015.
  • Theme Park Very first games in the "Theme" series by Bullfrog and Peter Molyneux, which is mostly known for this game and Theme Hospital (1997). This remained the best amusement park management game for long, until RollerCoaster Tycoon (1999) set the bar much higher.
  • Wacky Wheels A fun racing game, sadly didn't age well.
  • Magic Carpet A mix of action, strategy and (kind of) god game, once more by Peter Molyneux. A hard to describe one, but one of those addictive games that would make hours disappear.


  • Baku Baku Animal Very simple puzzle game, yet really entertaining, especially in 2 players mode.
  • Caesar II An interesting game for city-builder fans, this was one of the first to mix city-building with strategy. While I really enjoyed the city building part, I felt the strategy part was underwhelming.
  • Fatal Racing Aka Whiplash. Very arcade-oriented racing game. Fast, with crazy tracks making your car fly in every direction, in which destroying opponents cars was not just possible, but highly recommended.
  • Fury 3 This game, along with Terminal Velocity (1995), developed by the same people, with the same engine, and the same everything. I still preferred Fury 3 since I played it first, but it got bad ratings overall (understandably). Both will probably look dated today, but were extremely enjoyable games at that time.
  • Hi-Octane A not very known racing game, in the same vein as Wipeout (1995). Despite being released a few months before it, Hi-Octane was totally eclipsed by its release.
  • Magic Carpet 2 Sequel to Magic Carpet (1994), as hard to describe as the first, but also as recommended. While I wasn't a big fan of underground levels, the game did add a lot of variety to the original gameplay.
  • Manx TT Super Bike Released in 1997 on PC and Saturn. One of my favourite motorbike arcade racing game.
  • Phantasmagoria A very original point and click game. Which tried to mix live action with the genre. While the game itself was relatively average, it was a huge hit. I quite liked Adrienne, but the entire thing really looked like a random B-movie.
  • Warcraft II An amazing RTS, while the first Warcraft was enjoyable, it still suffered from tedious controls. Warcraft II fixed most of those issues. It also looked fantastic for 1995, and still doesn't look ugly. The variety of units was amazing.
  • Worms First title in what would become a long (and still ongoing) series of games, with lots of spin-offs and a ton of rip-offs. For many reasons, this one remains my favourite in the series, mainly because I had ton of fun with friends, and because I liked the darker theme that was replaced by a very funny/party oriented theme in the following games.


  • Command & Conquer - Red Alert To me, still the best title in the Command & Conquer series, did everything perfectly and set very high standards for RTS, especially for controls.
  • Descent 2 Nothing particularly new in this one, but the first game was amazing, and the sequel remained on the same track.
  • Destruction Derby 2 Combat racing game, looked good and was tons of fun with many different game modes.
  • Diablo No need to introduce this one. While its successor, Diablo II (2000) gets all the praise, I probably played the first one even more. Sadly, offline or closed game with friends was the way to go, online was full of cheaters. Still remember the very first time I connected to battle.net, before I even left the town someone had dropped a full set of one of the best endgame gear for me. Kind of broke the entire online experience.
  • Duke Nukem 3D Some preferred Quake (also 1996), for me, it was Duke Nukem all the way, I mean, why just kill some monsters when you can kill some monsters and visit strip clubs and space, and strip clubs in space? First game that made me use a level editor, built a few entire levels for it (sadly, all lost).
  • Megarace 2 Totally over the top game, crazy real actors cutscenes, crazy races with weapons, crazy level design, crazy everything. Totally recommended. Megarace (1993) was also great, but far from the fun of 2. Megarace 3 (2002) doesn't exist (I wish).
  • Lords of the Realm II An interesting mix of turn-based management game and RTS. Currently still available for cheap, if you enjoy original ideas, strategy and don't fear dated graphics, I can only recommend giving it a try.
  • Screamer 2 Rally racing game, not very realistic but very enjoyable game. Really good graphics, animation and soundtrack.
  • The Settlers II Along with Civilization (1991), one of the few games that would hook me for hours every time I launched it at that time (and both still do). One of the best management / RTS ever made. I'd spend hours just looking at all those units doing things on their own, or doing nothing, since they'd start doing funny things when having nothing to do. I'd also wait for some resources to be moved for a few minutes, just to see a pig carried by a donkey. Seriously, if you don't see what I'm talking about, go get the game (or the 10th anniversary edition from 2006), and get a pig on a donkey. You'll like it.
  • Tomb Raider The birth of a long series. While the game was pretty much revolutionary at that time, if now looks really dated. Tomb Raider: Anniversary (2007) remade this one in a much more enjoyable way by today standards. People nowadays will never understand the idea of spending 5 minutes trying to get your character in a corner just to look at boobs made of 3 polygons.
  • Wipeout 2097 (aka Wipeout XL) An amazingly well designed game. Futuristic racing game with weapons, very challenging to master.
  • F-22 Lightning II One of the few combat flight simulator I really played. F-22 Lightning 3 (1999), the 3rd game in the series (while II is the first, confusing, I know) is also worth taking a look at. The 2nd game, F-22 Raptor (1997) was more forgettable.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic II Many would disagree, but this is the best in the series for me. I still play it from time to time and I'm sure I'll spend hours on it every time I launch the game. An expansion was released in 1997 too, also recommended.


  • Total Annihilation 1997 was the year of RTS. Total Annihilation is the one I spent the most time on, and I still enjoy it from time to time now that it's back on Steam. It took strategy to a new dimension, with so many units compared to anything before. And by so many units I mean both so many available, and so many controlled at once. Sound track was also some amazing classical music, that would change depending on what you were currently doing.
  • Grand Theft Auto The birth of a very well-known series, for some reason, I never really enjoyed the game after it went 3D with the 3rd opus. This one remains my favourite by far. Spent weeks creating an entire custom city with a friend. Lost it. Am sad now.
  • Myth A really impressive fantasy tactical game. It looked really good for that year, the story was interested, and the level design was very clever and challenging. 2 sequels were made, Myth II: Soulblighter (1998), also highly recommended, and Myth III: The Wolf Age (2001), somewhat less interesting.
  • Redneck Rampage The title actually says almost everything about this game, all you need more is to know it's a FPS.
  • Quake II For me, this was the most impressive game at launch in the Quake series. It felt like 3D FPS suddenly leaped into a new area. Gameplay and graphics were a huge step up from anything before.
  • Dark Reign 1997 was really the golden age of RTS, this one had a really unique art style and some interesting mechanics. A sequel, Dark Reign 2 (2000) also gets high praises, but I didn't feel the move to full 3D was that successful, and never finished it.
  • Claw A somewhat forgotten but very enjoyable plarformer. You're both a cat and a pirate, how could you not enjoy it?
  • Moto Racer Possibly the motorcycle racing game I played the most. The feeling of speed was amazing.
  • Earth 2140 Did I already say something about this year being one of the best for RTS? This one also brought lots of interesting ideas to the table, especially with a great AI and units.
  • Final Fantasy VII Hard to talk about this game without starting a war on which Final Fantasy was the best. Well, it was this one. Now, I said it.
  • Nuclear Strike Fifth game in the "Strike" series, started by Desert Strike (1992). For some reasons, all other entries in this series were mostly forgettable. While this one didn't get as much praise as the first one, it was still a very enjoyable shooter.
  • Ignition Also knows as Fun Tracks or Bleifuss Fun. Another somewhat underrated game, really fast miniature cars racing game with clever and beautiful track design.
  • Interstate 76 A very unusual game, which looked like some fun weaponized car action game, but was actually closer to a strategy/simulation game, which actually makes sense since it was based on MechWarrior 2 (1995) engine. I thought a long time about including MechWarrior 2 in this list actually, the game felt really good, and I tried countless times to get into it, but never managed to do so. Interstate 76, on the other hand, sucked many hours out of my life.
  • Pod Such a good racing game, looked particularly amazing on PC with MMX instructions. While the game was definitely a technical demonstration of these new capabilities, it was also really fun and easy to play.
  • Sub Culture A kind of open world and very unique game. It might be short and non challenging, but I spent so much time on this one. You control a submarine, salvage/mine/trade things, and engage in missions with 2 nations at war with each other. With a kind of short main storyline.
  • The City of Lost Children While that adventure game received terrible reviews, I absolutely loved it, the atmosphere was really well made.
  • KKnD Yeah, 1997, RTS, something something. Xtreme edition mostly recommended, not sure I ever played the basic edition, one more amazing RTS. Had a sequel the next year: KKnD 2 (1998), but I preferred the first one by a long shot.


  • Descent: FreeSpace Despite the name, and the same developers, this has little to do with Descent (1995). A great single player space simulation, multiplayer was apparently very flawed, but I never played online or LAN. Setting up your ship before a mission added a small strategy aspect.
  • Need For Speed III Visually, the most impressive game of 1998 to me, by far. First 2 games in the series (1994 and 1997) were good, but this one was amazing. It brought back police chases from the first and made it the central part of the game.
  • Shogo: MAD An unusual FPS, where you control either your character, or a mecha depending on the level, sadly eclipsed by Half-Life, released soon after.
  • Anno 1602 Really good and challenging RTS / city builder game. Played it so much that I can still hear Greensleaves while I write this.
  • Blood II Sequel from Blood (1997), both are actually pretty good FPS, with lots of violence and dark humour.
  • Baldur's Gate Kind of revived the AD&D genre that had no big and popular titles since Eye of the Beholder (1990), and led to many sequels and similar games.
  • Dune 2000 An underrated Dune game, while it wasn't as revolutionary as the first two, it had very little flaws, and was very enjoyable.
  • Carmageddon II Sequel to Carmageddon (1997), this game sparked a quite big controversy at the time, and was censored in many countries. A totally crazy "racing" game, which actually ended up having very little to do with racing most of the time. Instead, you'd wreck every opponent and pedestrian, or throw them against a wall with huge springs, or hit them with giant flails attached to the back of your car, or...
  • Future Cop: LAPD A mostly forgotten game, even at that time. I had amazing times playing it with a friend in coop mode. Basically a third person shooter where you control the police, and kill everything. Had a lot of great ideas, and apparently inspired modern MOBA games.
  • Half-Life Nah, I don't need to say anything. Just play it if you haven't.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Classic platformer, not really adding anything new, but doing everything right. Also had a great level editor, and once again, I lost everything I made with it. And am sad.
  • Commandos The game that made real time tactics popular. Challenging and unforgiving game.
  • Myth II Same as the first, just better in every way.
  • Railroad Tycoon II Still the best train management game I ever played, looked and sounded amazing (that soundtrack).
  • DethKarz An underrated combat racing game. Fast with great graphics and gameplay.
  • Swarm Simple arcade / shooter game, but extremely enjoyable, I sank a lot of time on this one.
  • Viper Racing Very enjoyable racing game that sadly lacked content. Could have been a huge hit IMO.
  • A.R.S.E.N.A.L - Taste the Power A really interesting new take on RTS from a small studio. Tactically much more complex than most RTS, especially with addition of things like fuel management.
  • SiN Underrated FPS. Interesting story and overall design.


  • Kana: Little Sister Adult visual novel. While there is very little graphic scenes, and all very soft, what made this game a very adult game were the themes. Do not play when depressed, seriously, this is the very first game that had me totally in tears in front of my computer, and yet I could not stop playing, I had to know what would happen, I had to.
  • Dungeon Keeper 2 You should be familiar with Peter Molyneux by now. He created the first Dungeon Keeper (1997), which was an amazing mix of RTS, god game and management, with unique themes and characters. While he wasn't involved in this one (as far as I know), this game took the first one to the next level, and turned it in a pure masterpiece.
  • Homeworld I really, really hoped this game would start a new major branch of RTS, the idea of a RTS with 6 degrees of freedom hadn't even crossed my mind before I heard about this game. And my first thought was that it would be really hard to play. How wrong I was, the gameplay was simply perfect. Sadly, there hasn't been many similar games, except for Homeworld 2 (2003). Both were remastered in 2015.
  • FreeSpace 2 Sequel to FreeSpace (1998), it was superior in every way, fixing most issues the first had, and improving everything it already did well. Amazing story and graphics.
  • System Shock 2 One of the first "modern" FPS to successfully include RPG elements. Highly recommended along with Deux Ex (2000).
  • Battlezone II It took some time for the developers to fix the game that had game-breaking bugs on release, which kind of hindered its success. The game was an amazing mix of RTS and FPS, really enjoyable once its original issues were fixed.
  • Age of Empires II Still the best title in Age of Empires series to me. Very enjoyable RTS, both in solo or multiplayer. Age of Empires II HD (2013) is more modern release of this game, but it feels horribly overpriced to me.
  • Outcast Sadly, not many could play this game on launch, because of absolutely crazy hardware requirements for the time. One of the first game that would really classify as open-world 3D.
  • Aliens vs Predator Probably the best AvP game ever made, I'd even say the best Alien game. Playing marine made it a complete horror game, it really managed to put you in the shoes of a single lost marine fighting those crazy monsters (and dying, and dying, and dying again). And playing as those crazy monsters was also really enjoyable, especially running on walls as an alien to stalk on those marines.
  • Omikron: The Nomad Soul I don't know where to start for this one. This game was an amazing mix of genres, in a (kind of) open-world 3rd person game, that included some shooter parts, and some fighting (as in 3D fighting game, Virtua Fighter style). A world that felt huge, with interesting characters everywhere, and such a great story. And Bowie (both in game, and partly behind it).
  • Unreal Tournament No need to introduce that one. Quake 3 (also 1999) and UT were the 2 big FPS of the end of 90s. My preference went to UT for multiplayer.
  • Re-Volt Radio controlled car racing game, with weapons, what's not to love about that?
  • Expendable Very basic shoot-em-up, looked absolutely fantastic when it came out, with crazy effects everywhere, kind of like Incoming (1998). Great game to play with a friend.
  • Darkstone While it wasn't the most beautiful game, this is one of the first Diablo-like that successfully went full-3D. Great gameplay and replayability, but probably too ugly for most by today's standards (it already kind of was by 99's standards).
  • Rage of Mages 2 This game was so incredibly addictive, spent a lot of days on this one. An original mix of RPG and RTS, and definitely much harder than most games from any of these genres.
  • Pharaoh One of the best city-building games ever made for me. Challenging and interesting campaign, also great music.
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J.P. Morgan Early Look at the Market – Tues 3.21.17

Full shit here can be viewed here

J.P. Morgan Early Look at the Market – Tues 3.21.17


Morning Levels

Trading Update

Top Headlines for Tuesday

US – healthcare

US – economic growth, monetary policy

Company-specific news

M&A/Strategic Actions


Full catalyst list

  • Wed Mar 22 – BOJ minutes from 1/30-31 meeting (Tues night/Wed morning)
  • Wed Mar 22 – US FHFA home prices for Jan. 9amET.
  • Wed Mar 22 – US existing home sales for Feb. 10amET.
  • Wed Mar 22 – analyst meetings: CSTM
  • Wed Mar 22 – earnings before the open: QIWI, WGO
  • Wed Mar 22 – earnings after the close: FIVE, PVH
  • Thurs Mar 23 – ECB publishes economic bulletin. 5amET.
  • Thurs Mar 23 – Yellen speaks at Community Development Conf. 8amET.
  • Thurs Mar 23 – Fed speakers: Yellen, Kashkari, Kaplan
  • Thurs Mar 23 – US new home sales for Feb. 10amET.
  • Thurs Mar 23 – analyst meetings: ARRS
  • Thurs Mar 23 – earnings before the open: ACN, CMC
  • Thurs Mar 23 – earnings after the close: BAS, GME, KBH, MU, SCVL
  • Fri Mar 24 – Eurozone flash PMIs for Mar. 5amET.
  • Fri Mar 24 – Fed speakers: Evans, Bullard, Dudley
  • Fri Mar 24 – US durable goods for Feb. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Mar 24 – US flash manufacturing PMI for Mar. 9:45amET.
  • Mon Mar 27 – German IFO for Mar (4amET).
  • Mon Mar 27 – Eurozone M3 money supply data for Feb. 4amET.
  • Mon Mar 27 – US Dallas Fed manufacturing index for Mar. 10:30amET.
  • Mon Mar 27 – Fed speakers: Evans
  • Mon Mar 27 – earnings after the close: RHT, SNX
  • Tues Mar 28 – US advanced goods trade balance for Feb. 8:30amET.
  • Tues Mar 28 – US wholesale inventories for Feb. 8:30amET.
  • Tues Mar 28 – US Case Shiller home price index for Jan. 9amET.
  • Tues Mar 28 – US flash services PMI for Mar. 9:45amET.
  • Tues Mar 28 – US Consumer Confidence for Mar. 10amET.
  • Tues Mar 28 – analyst meetings: CY
  • Tues Mar 28 – earnings before the open: DRI
  • Tues Mar 28 – earnings after the close: SONC
  • Wed Mar 29 – US pending home sales for Feb. 10amET.
  • Wed Mar 29 – analyst meetings: ALK
  • Wed Mar 29 – earnings before the open: PAYX
  • Thurs Mar 30 – Eurozone confidence measures for Mar. 5amET.
  • Thurs Mar 30 – US Q4 GDP/PCE revisions
  • Thurs Mar 30 – earnings before the open: SAIC
  • Fri Mar 31 – Eurozone CPI for Mar. 5amET.
  • Fri Mar 31 – US personal income/spending/PCE for Feb. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Mar 31 – US Chicago PMI for Mar. 9:45amET.
  • Fri Mar 31 – US Michigan confidence numbers for Mar.
  • Mon Apr 3 – Eurozone manufacturing PMI for Mar. 4amET.
  • Mon Apr 3 – Eurozone PPI and unemployment for Feb. 5amET.
  • Mon Apr 3 – US Markit manufacturing PMI for Mar. 9:45amET.
  • Mon Apr 3 – US manufacturing ISM for Mar. 10amET.
  • Mon Apr 3 – US construction spending for Feb. 10amET.
  • Mon Apr 3 – US auto sales numbers for Mar.
  • Tues Apr 4 – RBA rate decision (Mon night/Tues morning)
  • Tues Apr 4 – Eurozone retail sales for Feb. 5amET.
  • Tues Apr 4 – US trade balance for Feb. 8:30amET.
  • Tues Apr 4 – US factory orders for Feb. 10amET.
  • Tues Apr 4 – US durable goods for Feb. 10amET.
  • Tues Apr 4 – analyst meetings: XYL
  • Tues Apr 4 – earnings after the close: Hudson’s Bay
  • Wed Apr 5 – Eurozone services PMI for Mar. 4amET.
  • Wed Apr 5 – US ADP jobs report for Mar. 8:15amET.
  • Wed Apr 5 – US services PMI for Mar. 9:45amET.
  • Wed Apr 5 – US non-manufacturing ISM for Mar. 10amET.
  • Wed Apr 5 – Fed minutes from 3/15 meeting (2pmET)
  • Wed Apr 5 – analyst meetings: Dell, NTAP
  • Wed Apr 5 – earnings before the open: MON, WBA
  • Wed Apr 5 – earnings after the close: BBBY, RECN, YUMC
  • Thurs Apr 6 – India RBI rate decision (5amET)
  • Thurs Apr 6 – ECB meeting minutes (7:30amET)
  • Thurs Apr 6 – earnings before the open: HOFT, KMX, STZ
  • Thurs Apr 6 – earnings after the close: PSMT
  • Fri Apr 7 – US jobs report for Mar. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Apr 7 – US wholesale trade sales/inventories for Feb. 10amET.
  • Fri Apr 7 – US consumer credit for Feb. 3pmET.
  • Mon Apr 10 – US labor market conditions index for Mar. 10amET.
  • Tues Apr 11 – US JOLTs for Feb. 10amET.
  • Wed Apr 12 – US import prices for Mar. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Apr 12 – Bank of Canada rate decision (10amET)
  • Wed Apr 12 – Brazilian central bank rate decision
  • Wed Apr 12 – analyst meetings: MOS
  • Wed Apr 12 – earnings before the open: FAST
  • Wed Apr 12 – earnings after the close: PIR
  • Thurs Apr 13 – US PPI for Mar. 8:30amET.
  • Thurs Apr 13 – US Michigan confidence for Apr. 10amET.
  • Thurs Apr 13 – European earnings/trading reports: Carrefour, Hays
  • Thurs Apr 13 – earnings before the open: C, JPM, PNC, WFC
  • Fri Apr 14 – US markets closed for Good Friday
  • Fri Apr 14 – US CPI for Mar. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Apr 14 – US retail sales for Mar. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Apr 14 – US business inventories for Feb. 10amET.
  • Wed Apr 19 – Fed Beige Book (2pmET)







submitted by SIThereAndThere to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

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