I Remember Banding
Off Topic 4, Final Fantasy Dissiwhat? Duowho?

When I was rambling on about how weird levelers are, it was apparent I was going to throw in some RPG reference.  One of the most iconic RPG’s out there is Final Fantasy. 

"Why is it called Final Fantasy when there’s more than one?"

Kid I swear…just…*sigh*…all the fans know that back in the NES days, Square released their “swan song” game that was going to make or break them.  Thus, “This is our Final Fantasy”.  14 numbered “sequels” and a mountain of spin-off games later, and it’s one of the most well known series ever. 

I always wanted that Final Fantasy crossover where you could have your DREAM TEAM.  You know, all the characters had to get together for some GRAND EPIC ADVENTURE of SAVING THE MULTIVERSE! 
"Ok, let me team up…Sabin, Tifa, Zell, and Snow".  Fuck yes monk team! 
Or the female dream team, “Let’s pair up Rosa, Faris, Ashe, and Fang.” 
Ok ok, one more, fuck you all,  “Edgar, Sabin, Faris, Lenna”.  Fuck yes Brother/sister combo! 
Damn, I can just sit here all day and make up teams. 

So along comes…Kingdom Hearts…something about Square and Disney teaming up…I dunno, I couldn’t stomach the game.   They introduced this place called RADIANT GARDEN in Kingdom Hearts 2.  A town where all these Final Fantasy characters hang out.  But they further cocktease me by MAKING THEM NOT PLAYABLE!!!1ONE1!

Flash forward to 2009.  This game, ‘Dissidia’ comes out.  I have no idea what the hell a ‘dissidia’ is but I see all the Final Fantasy main characters lined up!  Is.. this my game?!

WRONG!  IT’S A FIGHTING GAME!  BOO!

or BOO-YAH?

Seeing as this will the closest I can get to my dream game, I picked it up and wasn’t very thrilled.

But then I started playing more characters.  I started to NOTICE things.  Like…characters doing certain poses…or REFERENCES being made to the older games. 

Then I beat the game and I was blown clean off my rocking chair.  This game was made for every single final fantasy fan.  Even if you ONLY played FF7, you can romp around with Cloud and be happy.  If you are a new fan and only played 10 and 12, hey great, you got Tidus and motherfucking GABRANTH!  If you’re an old school fan, well you’re in for a treat because whoever made this game pays attention to detail. 

THAT’S old school.  THAT’s attention to detail.   
You end the game with the beginning of Final Fantasy 1.  Epic. 
If you never played FF1, you wouldn’t notice this.  But you can still enjoy the game.  If you DID play it, holy crap your brain exploded into awesome chunks, not to mention the MILLION other things about this game that all tie into FF1.

They sneak in little things like this throughout the game:

Awesome.
The Final Fantasy Wikia used to have a list of all the references made, but I don’t know what happened to that particular page.  I can’t find it anymore. 
There’s ONE more reference I want to point out because I don’t think ANYONE has picked up on it.  Possibly because I’m “reaching for straws”, but check this out.

I was ALL about Nintendo Power back in the day.  This was the goto source for video games.  In the early days of the magazine they did a review for Final Fantasy 1 which is how I first found out about it.  I found a scan of the page I want to show you.

Look at the bottom right of that page.  That guy leaping is the “Warrior of Light”, also known as “Fighter” before the “PS1 standardization of FF”.  The guy with the blue armor is Garland, because…they tell you right there.  You got that?  Now look at this:

Garland is ALMOST identical.  Look at his left hand, it’s the same pose!  Even the viewing angle is the same.  I’ll admit the whole warrior of light leaping is reaching for straws but…there’s just to many similarities.  The only thing I know for sure is the artwork is Japanese because it has that feel of “classic Dragonball” to it. 

I know it’s hard to believe but Japan actually drew manly things at one time.  Before the whole “androgyny” thing became a prominent selling point.

You said it Kenshiro.
I’m willing to bet my entire Magic collection that someone on the design team SAW that same picture from WHATEVER the Japanese equivalent of Nintendo Power was and slipped it in.  That or they were going through old art on file.
Cabinet that is.
That’s a joke son, dont’cha get it?

"…"

You kids and your damn internet.  The point of all this is Final Fantasy Dissidia: Dewy Decimal comes out today and I’m totally stoked.  It added some new characters and apparently it’s a prequel.  I thought Dissidia was so amazing that I have to pick this up regardless. 



Get outta here and go buy it!

dodada~DOODAA dododooo

"Hey Graybutt I got these new ca….what the hell is that?”

Don’t even tell me you little bastards today never heard of Final Fantasy?

"You mean like Tidus and Lightning?”

%$&*&@#-!  NO not like stupid “TeeeDUs ” and your newfangled “three dimensional graphics”!  REAL Final Fantasy!

"These graphics are pretty bad.  This game sucks!  How is this related to Magic Cards?"

Just look at that set Rise of Eldrazi, you have creatures that can level up now!

"Oh yeah!  Those are my new cards!  I brought them over to show you!  These guys are kind of like that ‘Figure of Destiny' from that old school set Eventide.”

Old schoo-?!  Before you give me another stroke, lemme see your doods.

When Kozilek was first spoiled (click the eye)for Rise of Eldrazi you KNEW these guys were going to overshadow EVVEERRRYYYTTHING else the set had to offer, I mean, just look at them!

In order to fight this new threat to Zendikar, the denizens had to team up and heroes had to rise to the occasion.

This seems pretty cool.  It’s like I’m leveling my doods in Final Fantasy and other RPGs.  dodada~DOODAA dododooo

Oh…

These guys were like…the party members you DIDN’T want to use in a role-playing game.  Locke?  What’s he gonna do, steal a potion?  That guy sucks, gimme Cyan or Sabin.

Look at Null Champion.  2 mana to drop.  Let’s say you drop it 2nd turn.  Next turn drop your land, level up once, he’s now a 4/2.  Ok, that Runeclaw Bear is not impressed.  Let’s spend SIX MORE MANA to level up him to…level…three…and still do nothing…wow, where did my mana go?  He’s stil a 4/2 and that Runeclaw Bear is still laughing at him.  How much mana have I infested so far?  11?  For a 4/2?!

Let’s look at a rare.  Kazandu Tuskcaller seems cool.  Getting tokens is always fun.  Let’s drop her second turn.  Sejiri Merfolk is not amused.  So I better level her up twice on my third turn since EVERY GREEN DECK should have Llanowar Elves first turn.  Sweet, two levels and I got a token for those stupid Sejiri Merfolk.  Next turn I’m gonna level her up two more times…oh…she just got bounced…wow…what a waste of mana.  How much mana was that?  10?  For a 1/1 and a 3/3 token?  HRMMMMMMM.  This looks familar…like BORIS DEVILBOON FAMILIAR?!  9 mana for a 2/2 and a 1/1 token!?  Holy crap we regressed back to legends!

Do these levelers ever give me a return for my investment?  How about Lord of Shatterskull Pass?  I guess a 6/6 for 6 mana is decent enough, let’s rock.

….ok let me level up my minotaur some mor…wait a minute…I need to spend TEN more mana only to get a vanilla 6/6?…I don’t think I read that right.  Let me get my reading glasses out…

I need to spend TWELVE mana to do ANYTHING with him, AND he stays a 6/6?!  For a grand total of SIXTEEN MANA?!  Sweet titty sprinkles, I never thought I’d say this but Jedit Ojanen is looking pretty good right about now!

Yeah, I know rares aren’t created equal, but shitnuggets!  My main problem with these guys is they aren’t refined enough and REALLY shouldn’t exist.  Especially in the same set as those ELDRAZI!  Look at all these guys who I just dumped mana into levels of just…NOTHINGNESS…

When I level up PERIOD, I’m supposed to get STRONGER.  What if a Final Fantasy character had to gain 3 levels before you see their stats raise?  You’d be mad as hell!  This is no different!  This is more like…”setting the foundation to get stronger” which just doesn’t work in magic!  Obviously there are limits to card text which is fine but…damn, 12(15) mana just to get a Lightning Crafter?

"Hey wait a second…you’re not being fair!  There’s stuff like Venerated Teacher, Training Grounds, and that doppelganger guy.  You can combo those with the levelers to cheat on mana!  I bet you didn’t even look at the set!”

Kid, remember how I schooled you on how bad the first legendary creatures were?  That was 17 YEARS ago and now we got stuff like Boggart Ram-Gang, Bloodbraid Elf, Baneslayer Angel, Kitchen Finks, Putrid Leech, Leatherback Baloth, Woolly Thoctar, etc.  These levelers felt like 17 steps back. 

"Well maybe they weren’t made for people like you, Mr. Grouchy Face!"

You’re right, they’re not.  Who were they made for?

Johnny doesn’t care about these guys.  He’s to busy with trying to “express himself” by decking you in one turn with Hedron Crab.

Spike won’t even GLANCE at them.  He has his planeswalkers and Frost Titan.

Timmy has his hands full with Eldrazi from the same set.

Melvin’?  ‘Melvin' is upstairs worrying about the layer rules for Krosan Tusker and Yixlid Jailer.

That leaves ‘VorthossSssSssch’.  ‘Vorthos' is in the basement putting them in his binder next to his weatherlight crew collection.

Wait….really?  Cards made for someone’s BINDER?  Why not make the levelers creature type ally in addition to whatever else they were?  Allies were just introduced in the same block!  CONTINUE THE BLOCK TREND!  They’ll be rotated out of standard soon enough anyway.  How about those stupid creatures with defender?  Is that it for rebound?  I thought I was trying to rise to the occasion to fight this ELDRAZI menance? 

"But…but my cards…"

Gimme those, I need to use the crapper.  Gain some levels in Final Fantasy or something.