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Axe of the Blood God: The Final Fantasy IX Report #2, and SNES RPGs... From Hell

PODCAST | Our FFIX Report continues, and we talk about the worst of the worst on the SNES.

Article by Kat Bailey, .

Axe of the Blood God is our weekly RPG podcast hosted by Kat Bailey and Nadia Oxford. You can find the previous episodes here.

In this week's episode of Axe of the Blood God (download link here), we continue our deep dive into Final Fantasy IX!

The SNES Classic is now officially out in the wild; and having spent lots of time talking about how great the SNES RPG library is, it's time to look at the other side of the coin and discuss the worst of the worst. There are more than you think!

Also in this episode: Part 2 of the Final Fantasy IX Report! We continue our adventure through the Evil Forest and the Ice Cave, and we talk about what Steiner adds to the story. And hey, there's a Quina cameo, too!

Want to share your thoughts on RPGs? Email us at usgamer@usgamer.net. We may read your letter on the show! Keep those Perfect RPG Teams coming, folks!

Where to find us (Subscribe, rate, and review!)

Show Description

Kat and Nadia continue their quest through Final Fantasy IX with the second Final Fantasy IX Report (38:45), share their adventures in acquiring an SNES Classic, and pick the five worst SNES RPGs!

Music from Axe of the Blood God is courtesy of Lena Chappelle, who has also contributed the themes to Active Time Babble and Roleplayers' Realm. I also use music from the RPG Music Pack over at rpgmaker.net. Check it out!

This article may contain links to online retail stores. If you click on one and buy the product we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.

Comments 11

  • Avatar for Drachmalius #1 Drachmalius A month ago
    Good episode! I was luckily able to get a SNES classic just by walking into the store, and might play along with a Secret of Mana report. I've never played it before but it seems like it might be my cup of tea. As someone who was a genesis kid, this Snes classic is like a childhood dream come true. I used to be so jealous of my friends who had one, and despite playing a lot of the classics on virtual console or elsewhere it just wasn't quite the same.

    I also love hearing about some of the mediocre/bad games from a generation that are cast aside or forgotten. There's a lot that can be learned from what a game does wrong, not just what it does right. That segment was fun. Secret of Stars or whatever it was called sounds terrible.
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #2 riderkicker A month ago
    Still saving up, but that's $400 worth of stuff to get with the system, one game, and the memory card.

    Wow were there a lot of stones in the SNES library, especially with RPGs. I know there are growing pains in the genre and it was interesting to see the puzzling choices publishers chose to bring to America, especially when the five RPGs we know and love are basically THE only five JRPGs most people know on the system. It is a shame America never got to enjoy Final Fantasy V (until 1999), Bahamut Lagoon, Live-A-Live, Arabian Nights, Front Mission, Metal Max, LaGrange Point, and three decent Super Robot Wars games. Although I suspect it may be related to resources since the games named in this episode appear to be the most easiest to translate, especially if they were just NES-style games with barely better graphics, yet can cash in on the popularity of Final Fantasy II. Whatever it may be the case, at least I can take comfort in knowing that genre tried to thrive in an American market saturated with sports and action games.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #3 SatelliteOfLove A month ago
    Ys 3 was done by other developers outside of the rockin' soundteam_JDK OST. Basically, you tossed a check at Falcom, they'd be perfectly ok with you making garbage versions of their games for consoles, and in the case of 3, even new entries of great-selling franchises no one at N-F wanted to do a sequel on. Throw in more money and they'd do the music.
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  • Avatar for Talraen #4 Talraen A month ago
    I think FF Mystic Quest gets a bad rap, but Nadia covered most of its high points (i.e., the music). I do think it's interesting how many of the things it did to simplify the gameplay eventually became standards. Not just the lack of random encounters, but even the no-frills equipment. Changing out armor pieces has become rarer and rarer in JRPGs, though admittedly games like FF8 compensate by having alternate systems to accomplish the same idea, and MQ doesn't.

    But I also think it deserves credit for having some decent territorial puzzles, and a lot of good combat feedback. I wish every game called out when you hit an enemy's weakness (and that too has become more common since the SNES days), and I really enjoy swapping between weapons, even if in practical terms you only really do so to use a claw against a monster that's vulnerable to its various status ailments.

    In short, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest doesn't hold up as a good Final Fantasy game, but I don't think it's that bad of an RPG if you divorce it from those expectations.
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  • Avatar for camchow #5 camchow A month ago
    Just finished listening to this one with some early morning work. Client didn't make our scheduled morning meeting so taking the rest of the day off. ANYWAY, FF9! I've been playing through it on and off this past month. For those that haven't picked it up on Steam or PS4 the steam version has an option to skip the camera panning that happens in the random battles (I think PS4 version has that too?) but there is a mod on steam you can download that speeds up the pre battle swirl and the loading time before the camera pan too! (google Memoria Engine mod) I love FF9 but it's terrible to go back and play it on PS1 because of how slow the loading and camera pan segments are, really adds up! On the PC with the in game option and the mod I think the random battles pop up and are ready to play in 1-2 seconds. Much better! I know that doesn't help you Nadia since you're playing the PS4 version but just throwing this info out there for anyone else!

    It's interesting to note how Steiner and Vivi get what is basically almost a Chrono Trigger style dual tech thing going but they never really bother to do that with any other characters. Kind of a missed opportunity maybe but honestly Steiner's spell sword is super OP.

    Anyway happy to hear Nadia is enjoying it so far! I have always loved the charm and goofiness of this game (especially after FF8), honestly wish they'd take another shot at Final Fantasy with this kind of light heartedness.

    edited to include name of the modEdited last month by camchow
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  • Avatar for The-Challenger #6 The-Challenger A month ago
    I started a new game just last week, and I still absolutely enjoy this game. More so than 8, or 7. I generally abhor random battles, and FF IX forces the player to encounter a random battle every 5-7 seconds...so traveling around the world map for the first 5-10 hours is horribly tedious, due to the constant stream of battles you run into. Overall, that had little to no impact on my enjoyment of this game. Also, this the only FF game where I felt the subconscious need to steal all three times a boss held. It really comes in handy if you steal as much as possible.

    Also, I must be one of the few people who will always choose Amarant as one of their party members. I love that sardonic son of a bitch.Edited last month by The-Challenger
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  • Avatar for Nuclear-Vomit #7 Nuclear-Vomit A month ago
    I actually beat 7th Saga with the Robot guy and I partnered with the Knight guy. I felt empty inside after realizing that I wasted part of my life to beat that game.
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  • Avatar for gekiganwing #8 gekiganwing A month ago
    I rented Tecmo Secret of the Stars from an independent store (much missed) around 1995. Can't remember much about it, except that the dialogue and gameplay seemed mediocre. I haven't tried it again in the last two decades.

    Likewise, 7th Saga was a "rent once, forget the next day" title. I kind of liked its art style and the variety of playable characters. However, I recall not enjoying how the gameplay required the player to enter a difficult dungeon in the first few minutes.

    There was one below-average SNES role playing game which I played extensively. That was Paladin's Quest (aka Lennus). I finished the game during the mid-1990s since I didn't have enough alternatives for entertainment. I would describe Paladin's Quest as a trippy, mediocre version of Dragon Quest 5. It has some good aspects such as the ability to recruit characters and learn new types of magic. However, I had a bunch of complaints with it:

    * Most special attacks drain the characters' hit points. This makes it difficult to justify using anything other than standard attacks.
    * Item names are short and vague. What exactly is a "Lth h"? Unless you have the instruction manual or a walkthrough, you might not realize that it's a leather hat.
    * The game seemed artificially long.
    * Only a few music tracks were enjoyable. A number of them just droned in the background.
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  • Avatar for moochan #9 moochan A month ago
    Bad SNES game is a game my mom bought me and that's Mario Time Machine. Which I thought was going to be a great adventure throughout time. But instead it's just a awful educational game that taught me nothing!
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  • Avatar for Lord-Bob-Bree #10 Lord-Bob-Bree A month ago
    Secret of the Stars was the first game I thought of when I saw what this episode was about. I "like" how it gives you multiple parties, but them makes your heroes' party the only one worth using. Drakkhen had slipped my mind, and is certainly bad, but I am always amused when I see someone encounter it for the first time and have no idea what's going on.

    I'm not sure I'd call myself a Mystic Quest defender, but I do like it. Saying it doesn't have character is just unfair. Between the enemy designs, music, characters, and its humor, it has lots of character.

    There were at least two Harry Potter RPGs, actually, both on Gameboy Color.

    That Gamecube LotR RPG was surprisingly fun. Not amazing, but not the cash grab one could have expected, either. Of course, in order to make sure your characters didn't actually get invovled in the events of the movies (mostly), it went a little far and made everything you do seem pointless.
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  • Avatar for mattcom26 #11 mattcom26 A month ago
    I'm glad Drakkhen made it on your worst RPGs list -- I might have unsubscribed if this dumpster fire had been omitted. Drakkhen made an indelible impression on me as the first game my older brother (inexplicably) bought for his new SNES. Haunting, inscrutable and deeply disturbing are some of the ways I'd describe it from the perspectuve of a 10-year-old mind. Lord knows I couldn't make any sense at all of what to do or where to go or even what the general plot was back in the day -- just endless wandering, facelessly murmuring beings and the occasional giant enemy blasting down from the stars to stomp the life out of me.
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