1. Vector

Deep breath

Finally, you reach the headquarters of the Empire where Gestahl resides. An, aw man, the fucking music. It’s simultaneously creepy and depressing. Go ahead and remind yourself why Nobuo Uematsu is a goddamn genius.

The place is dreary. There appears to be only soldiers and poverty. Try to bum rush the front gates, though, and you run into this oh-my-god-I’m-gonna-die!

“Warmech is my baby brother.”

After you sneak in, you work your way through a complex labyrinth of conveyor belts, which is fun, but also frustrating when you take the wrong one and hope you have enough stamina to survive. When you finally work your way to the end, you fight a depressing battle with Ifrit and Shiva. And if that weren’t depressing enough…

It’s the first moment when you truly realize that it’s not just Kefka that is evil, but the entire Empire is depraved and must be brought down and you’re not powerful enough to stop them. Hell, you’re barely powerful enough to stop these assholes:

See all those dead guys? Yeah, that was my party. The cranes were the hardest boss I had fought in possibly my entire RPG life to that point. I believe I died six or seven times and was close to restarting the entire game over because I stupidly didn’t have a save point prior to Vector. If I recall, I got lucky on a Setzer slot machine and moved on from there. After that, the mine chase is a more relaxing diversion, though not a cakewalk by any means.

After all that, Gestahl and Kefka are still as powerful as they were before you walked in. It’s depressing as hell, and it was the highlight of the game for me. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the return to Vector after the Espers finally throw a shit fit and destroy the place. The dinner with Gestahl is really cool, especially since you get the sneaking suspicion that he’s just setting you up. But it’s cool to see Kefka brooding on a jail cell toilet.

And that’s the end of the list. Did you have a favorite moment you missed?



12 thoughts on “1. Vector”

  1. I won’t quibble with this as the #1 choice. That whole sequence was extremely memorable. The part in the trash fighting Shiva and Ifrit was depressing at first, but after beating them I remember feeling a sense of hope when they joined and I had the gods on my side. Not that that would last, but it was there.

  2. No love for grinding in the dinosaur forest for hours? Or vanish-dooming Intangir to get magic points without gaining XP? What about the joy of fighting Larry, Moe, and Curly?

    1. The dinosaur grinding would be in the worst moments list.

      Vanish/X-Zone is exploiting bad coding. Yawn.

      Larry, Moe and Curly was a fun battle.

  3. I initially was unsure of this one as the number one, but after pulling up a couple of YouTube videos, I was sold. This is a great stretch of game, both story-wise and gameplay-wise. The cranes did indeed have my number (maybe not quite as bad as almost quitting, but yeah, they were brutal).

    I love the fact that Guardian is hanging out at the front gate, I love the fight in the trash, I love the mine chase. Yeah, I can dig this.

    1. Hmm. I definitely wouldn’t have even thought to put this on the list. Of the twenty things here, I think it’s the one for which I have the least recollection. I mean, it’s coming back now, but I’m kind of having to wrack my brain to do it.

      I would have had Zozo on the list. A depraved city with random battles? Yeah, I was into it. The HadesGigas, even!!!

      Doom Gaze may have been on the list.

      Did we see the story of Setzer’s lost love?

        1. I sometimes wonder what I kicked out of my brain in order to forever remember that the answer is 6:10:50.

      1. In retrospect, Zozo probably should have made it. HadesGigas was a fun fight. But I think I was affected by the fact that I hate the chainsaw. Getting Edgar’s best weapon so early in the game makes all of his future weapons pointless.

        Nope, no mention of the Setzer story. That could have made it as well. For some reason, Setzer’s character never quite hit the right note with me.

        1. Setzer was filed squarely in my “C Group” characters, so as a result, I never developed the same kinship with him that I did with Celes, Sabin, Terra, and Cyan (my ‘A’ group, though Gau occasionally made a showing, as well).

          1. My ‘A’ Group was Edgar, Terra, Locke, Sabin. My ‘B’ Group was Celes, Cyan, Mog, Gogo. Then the leftovers: Setzer, Relm, Strago, Umaro, Shadow, Gau. I’m probably missing somebody.

          2. You aren’t. Fourteen is correct.

            Cyan/Edgar/Locke/Terra was my A Group. Sabin and Celes sometimes joined in, and Gau probably did too.

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