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Convolutions of an Evil Mind
Part of my long silence has been because of a case of particularly BAD end-of-fiscal-year syndrome. But my current lack of online activity can be blamed on Final Fantasy XII.

FFXII has been rather fun so far. The new Gambit system (a simple player-defined AI, based on IF-THEN statements), combined with infinite HP/MP cheat codes, makes for a much more pleasant playing experience, at least for me. No more micro-managing your characters' every action in battle. With infinite HP/MP cheat codes and a decent set of Gambits, it's practically point-and-shoot.

Hell, I don't even need to shoot. I simply point the characters in the general direction of monsters and they will chase the beasties down and beat the crap out of the monsters all on their own. They even handle their own status ailments. Yay! Maybe I should park my characters in a spot that constantly spawns monsters and just leave them there for a few hours. ::snicker::

As for the story and the characters, I have to admit that Vaan, the semi-main protagonist, doesn't do a damn thing for me -- he's just a teenager out to see the world. Penalo, the teenage girl, lacks any real personality. Ashe, the disenfranchised princess, actually irritates me a fair bit, mostly from a grating combination of blind obsessiveness and royal snottiness. Basch, the loyal knight-protector, is a little interesting, but he doesn't grab my attention.

However Balthier and Fran are a completely different story. I adore Balthier -- he's a delightful rogue, with tons of classy attitude and style, not to mention a secretive painful past. Fran also has also family and past history issues and loss in her life. The two are both sky-pirates and long-term partners. Whether it's a plutonic partnership or something more, I don't know. But they definitely are a team.

I'm feeling the vague urge to write some introspective stuff about Balthier and Fran -- how they might have met, how a very long-lived bunny-eared nonhuman (Fran) feels about teaming up with a comparatively short-lived human (Balthier), etc.

Speaking of prospective plot bunnies, I've had an minor onslaught of them. I was partially inspired by playing FFXII, but they're not based on the game. If anything, it draws a bit on "Scrapped Princess". The plot involves the typical fantasy elements -- kingdoms under threat by dark forces; quests for mysterious, powerful artifacts; political intrigue; true love(tm); etc.

But since it's MY imagination and muses, naturally things aren't what they seem. And of course there's also some nasty little bit of MC (that's mind control for you innocents out there) and BDSM type themes going on as well. ::twirling her whiskers::

I even have a working title -- "Protectorate" -- a term nicely ladened with implications of both protection and domination, hm?

And yes, at this very moment, the plot bunnies are still busily drumming away, damn it!

Tags: ,
Current Mood: cranky cranky

10 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
xelloss_poo From: xelloss_poo Date: November 13th, 2006 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Mmmmm. The vagueness sounds interesting. :) It makes me want to read it. :P So if you ever get around to writing it, I'm so going to read it.
keji_eternal From: keji_eternal Date: November 13th, 2006 11:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Oi, you're a life saver... I'm stuck in FFXII but I didn't think there would be cheats out So soon after the game came out. The infi. HP/MP are a great idea to beat a boss i can't beat ATM.

And I agree with you, the most interesting characters in the game for me if Balthier and Fran. I have Balthier as the leader cause he's just cool like that. I love his style. And i believe they should've made Vaal a bit older, especially if he's hanging out with older people. I don't see him much as a hero material.

But I've only played 10 hours so far, so I can't say anything.

You didn't mention anything about COI.... er... does that mean you haven't gotten a chance at it since August? Ai!!

Anywho... Where did you find those cheats? I was in gameshark.com last night, but that's just to get KH2 infinite health so I could FINALLY beat Sephy... but I didn't see anything on FFXII... can ya let me know? Pretty please? Cheating is GOOD.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: November 14th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have three (!) different cheat devices for the PS2 -- GameShark, Action Replay Max, and Codebreaker. Personally, I tend to prefer Codebreaker, because they tend to have a much better variety of cheats (e.g., maxing out individual stats of individual characters, makes monsters drop massive amounts of items, etc.)

For example, Fran, with Max Strength (99) and the Zodiac Spear (Atk 150) easily does 7000+ damage to most monsters with a single hit. ::evil smirk:: And I don't have to tell you just what a nasty combo infinite MP and maxxed out Magick stats can be. ::mad cackle::

And one of my most favorite cheat combos is Max Gil (giving you OBSCENE amounts of cash) and Gil Toss, which can easily do 9999 damage a shot and is non-elemental.

Hey, I'm playing for the story and I have a low frustration threshhold. :P

You can get a Codebreaker from Amazon.com for about $15. Very reasonable, really. And you can download the cheats directly from the Codebreaker website if your PS2 has a broadband connector or transfer them via flash drive from your computer, which is great for avoiding the need for all that tiresome manual code entry.

Apparently as the story progresses, there is even MORE fodder for the Balthier and Fran fanshippers.

::looking guilty:: As for COI, I keep working on little scenes here and there -- sidestory stuff, really -- but I've been procrastinating about buckling down and working on the main story. Too many distractions....
keji_eternal From: keji_eternal Date: December 15th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi Madam H!!

Thank you so very much for the advice in the cheats with FFXII, believe me, even though I don't have a lot of time to play the game as I did when I was in JHS and HS, I have gotten pretty far thanks to that lol... I just found out who's Balthy's daddy!

But cheating is a dangerous thing you know, because I only meant to have inf. life, but once you have a bit of something, the crave to have more takes over, and then BOOM, I found myself with max str and stuff lol... I'm a person who can't control her urges... so I'm guilty of giving in to every possible thing.

A couple of days ago, I finished yet again reading COI for the... I lost count, time. I still have the prints for when I printed them in Dec of 2000... but since you added a couple of things to chapter 6, and a couple more snippets since then, I read them from pasting them in a word. doc. and reading them lol... You might not or you might understand...

Anyway, I hope you dont get too many distractions lol, like many others, I've been dying to know what's going to happen in the 8th chappie.

But thanks a lot again, and thank you for creating such a good story, that every time I catch a glimpse of this story, it just makes me play the game again... and again, I don't remember how many times I've ended the game... without cheats though lol.

Happy Christmas!!

genkisakka From: genkisakka Date: November 13th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
She lives! ^_~ Thinking about you as I battle the workload in Tokyo!
redcrest From: redcrest Date: November 14th, 2006 06:29 am (UTC) (Link)
LoL! Hydra-sama, you're so much fun... Questing and fantasy and courtly love and mind control and bondage-- a random-sounding lot until "Madam Hydra" is mentioned and then it ALL makes sense... ^^ Well, I'll never say no to a plot bunny that promises all of the above! (even if I'm starting to feel COI withdrawal due to smexy screenshots of Zack and Seph from the Crisis Core trailer-- have you seen them?) The idea kinda reminds me of one of your original pieces from a while back... the one about the angel-looking 'pet' who was dominating the prince in secret. (my, graphic images of feathers being shoved in certain places are coming back to me... @___@;; Man, you corrupted my youth, MH! =P)

LoL, anyway, I'm always happy to read your fics, so nurture those plot bunnies! ^^ Ganbare~
__perplexity__ From: __perplexity__ Date: November 17th, 2006 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
-.-" this is bad. I actually took a deep breath the other day and admitted to myself that I'm getting bored of Final Fantasys ("Final Fantasies"? Grammar issues -.-"). ESPECIALLY the idea of XII. But so far I AM only hearing good things about it. Any further points of persuasion? I don't want to not like it, REALLY I don't ... but ... *hopeless sigh*
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 21st, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm curious... what do you think of Larsa and Vayne Solidor? They're my two favorites out of the game and I'm wondering what my favorite FF7 writer opinions are. ^_^;
soloyuymaxwell From: soloyuymaxwell Date: December 6th, 2006 04:29 am (UTC) (Link)

HIya! ^^

Bummer... *Has yet to get FF12* I get paid three times this month... *Giggle* I can't wait to get it. That battle system sounds really, really cool.

I wonder... Are you going to make any Kingdom fanfiction of your own? Or maybe FF12 fanfiction? I would totally read that... =_= ...Despite the fact that you haven't updated any parts of COI yet...

I haven't been on much, either, due to the fact that I just finished guiding my sister through a game of KH1, and she wants me to watch all 6 seasons of Charmed that she has before continuing KH2... *Sigh* I miss the computer... *Pets*

Ooooer, drums! *Lights a bonfire and does the ceremonial dance of prayers for some good Hydra-fiction weather with numerous Chibi Frans*
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 10th, 2006 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

From: WolfishSerenity

Pfft. Lucky. My copy of FFXII is sitting under a christmas tree, dancing about as it makes fun of the fact that I can't play it for exactly two more weeks. Though I'm itching to play it, I have to say, I can't help but wonder how much money I plan on wasting away on this series.

By the time I'm in college I'll probably be living off of Ramen and spending the majority of my paycheck on FF games.
X.x if you haven't gotten it yet, I'm horrible at managing money.

Oh yes, well I didn't really say who I was, did I? O_o just call me Wolf. No, I'd hope to Sephiroth that I'm not a guy. And uh... first got interested in your Conflicts of Interest series. XD Which I'm still waiting patiently for you to finish. Of course, if I need to, I'll bribe the plotbunnies. >.o or threaten them with a metal baseball bat.
Er... Hoping you have happy holidays!

FFVII Last Order is awsome. XD Sad to say the first time I watched it was a few days ago. Slightly sad, and I wish they could do more stuff like that with the stuff before the actual FFVII. But I guess I'll just have to wait for the game FFVII:Crisis Core to come out. T_T
10 hisses or Hiss in my ear....