Axe of the Blood God Episode 17: An Ode to the Four Job Fiesta and a Look Ahead to Persona 5

Special guest Steve Tramer returns to discuss Final Fantasy V, his misgivings about Vagrant Story, and more.

Column by Kat Bailey, .

Axe of the Blood God is our weekly RPG podcast hosted by Kat Bailey. You can find the show notes for previous episodes here.

In this week's episode of Axe of the Blood God (download link here), Steve Tramer returns to explain why he's excited about the Four Job Fiesta, as well as why he's not a huge fan of Vagrant Story.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Four Job Fiesta, it's a challenge/annual holiday in which players attempt to complete Final Fantasy V with a random assortment of four jobs to benefit charity. Final Fantasy V is quite a difficult game even with out artificial limitations, so only the best players are apt to actually complete the challenge, but it's still worth trying. After all, it's for a good cause. You can find out how to sign up here.

As usual, our conversation wanders a bit in this episode, with the Final Fantasy VII remake, Vagrant Story, and Persona 5 all receiving attention. Steve, as it turns out, is quite pointed in his criticism of Vagrant Story, and if you've played it yourself, you can probably guess why. As for Persona 5, well, we're both pretty excited about that one. The trailer is just too good.

When you're finished listening to the show, we'd love to hear your thoughts. If you want to talk Final Fantasy V, Vagrant Story, or just RPGs in general, drop a line in the comments below. Conversely, you can reach me at We may read and discuss comments we like in an upcoming episode of Axe of the Blood God.

If you enjoy the show, you can find Axe of the Blood God on iTunes by following this link. Please subscribe, rate, and review the show! The more we're rated, the more visible we'll become. If you don't like us, then... er... don't do anything! And check out my weekly companion feature, Blog of the Blood God, which runs every Tuesday.

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Show Description

Steve Tramer returns to explain why you should be running the Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta right now, why he doesn't like Vagrant Story, and why he's excited to play Persona 5.

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 Check it out!

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Comments 14

  • Avatar for SigurdVolsung #1 SigurdVolsung 2 years ago
    I personally love Vagrant Story. I went through it many times back when it was new and I played it again last year. Nope, still love it to death. To each their own.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #2 SatelliteOfLove 2 years ago
    Posting ahead of time to show off my guess of "no quickswap button for weapons".
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #3 cldmstrsn 2 years ago
    @SigurdVolsung I feel the same. Awesome story, cool characters, crazy (in a good way) battle system. It sits proudly on my shelf and I love that soundtrack and that whole Ivalice feel.
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  • Avatar for Monkey-Tamer #4 Monkey-Tamer 2 years ago
    Vagrant Story is the classic that could have been for me. With a few tweaks here and there maybe it wouldn't be just another Final Fantasy stepchild forgotten or overlooked by most. Maybe if there was a quicker way to do the inevitable weapon switch I would have liked it more. I guess we'll have to love it for its flaws as we do so many others. I've got the Bradygames guide and original case in my collection. Fine pieces in my mini gaming museum.
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  • Avatar for Kadrom #5 Kadrom 2 years ago
    I had to start over Vagrant Story because I got stuck on one of the bosses with no good weapons for the damage type he was weak to. It was the first game that really taught me the slashing/piercing/blunt trinity and that buffs/debuffs actually make a difference. It was worth starting over though, still one of my favorite games of all time. Yasumi Matsuno doesn't make bad games.
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  • Avatar for kidgorilla #6 kidgorilla 2 years ago
    Yes, if I were to pick a most hated game, Project X Zone might be mine, too. That game is butt
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #7 cldmstrsn 2 years ago
    Great episode guys! loved everything you talked about. RPG's are truly the best genre to talk about. There is so many layers even after all these years with the classics there is something new to bring up. Gives me chills. I know, im weird and I don't care :p.
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #8 cldmstrsn 2 years ago
    Why so much hate for FF III? I loved that game! It was really hard but I liked it and when I beat it man I was so pumped because you literally cant save anywhere in the end dungeon. Loved that challenge.
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  • Avatar for jeffcorry #9 jeffcorry 2 years ago
    @cldmstrsn That end dungeon was so tough. I played the DS version, so after failing a few times, I went and cleared out the dungeon treasures, went back and saved...then finally beat it...
    I don't know how many tries it took. Cloud of Darkness and her tentacles. The next time I went through it, I made SURE to be leveled enough for that monster.
    Great games usually respect the player enough to be demanding.
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #10 cldmstrsn 2 years ago
    @jeffcorry Ya I made it to the end boss my first try and she wasted me so I spent a lot of time leveling up then on my 2nd try I wasted her so it really wasn't to bad. I really like the music in the last dungeon that also helped.
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  • Avatar for Thad #11 Thad 2 years ago
    Stephen P Tramer loves Final Fantasy 5 so much that he stayed home and played it instead of attending his own high school graduation.


    ...okay, so that probably says more about his feelings about high school than Final Fantasy 5.

    Anyhow! Haven't talked to Steve in a few years but we've known each other since we were eleven years old and hearing him on this podcast sure brought back a lot of memories. Mostly memories of playing Final Fantasy and BSing.

    You guys commented, as many people have, that Final Fantasy 7 is more about the feeling you had the first time you played it than any actual nuts-and-bolts properties of the game itself. Well, if you want to get hit right in your nostalgia zone, listen to a podcast where a guy talks about the first time he ever played it and you realize Holy shit, I was there! That was at my house!

    Good to hear Steve's perspective again, and his voice.
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  • Avatar for Lord-Bob-Bree #12 Lord-Bob-Bree 2 years ago
    My party this year: Monk, Summoner, Ninja, and Chemist. Not bad. Monk is underpowered, but I also get throwing Summoners! I've yet to actually finish a fiesta, though I've done SCCs with this game before. Currently just past the Earth Crystal, and it's been pretty easy. Still, the sheer variety you can get out of this game is amazing.

    (Also, I'd say that XIII had the worst story)

    While the FFIV we got for SNES was made easier than the original, Easytype was Japan-only.

    And you take that back about Wild ARMs 2! (Okay, maybe it's not as good as I used to think. I did like how thematic it tried to be, but I suppose it was too ham-handed and forced at times. And the whole thing that takes place in the final battle seems to go literally directly against the theme of the game. And the horrific translation...

    ..."The signal is coming from the northeast!" "It must be northeast from here!")
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #13 SatelliteOfLove 2 years ago
    ~~~ Gather 'round children, it's time for another retelling by your old uncle Satellite of "How To Be The Reinforcements" in one of the finest games ever made: VAGRANT STORY.

    Pierce/Blunt/Slash: You cannot gem or ensorcel for this, it is hardcoded into the blade type. Keep one per typing pair.

    There is an Evil Training Dummy somewhere near the cathedral, but I can't remember where. Use this. The end boss then becomes much more managable.

    Big honkin' two-hander. "But I was told to use a shield or I'd die!" No. Big honkin' swings, link up some nice hits, heal if need be, then eat a Risk-breaking herb, then eat the enemy's hit.

    Don't forget to use your spells! This is like Megaten: you don't swing the stats in your favor you're gonna hurt yourself.

    Boom. Now you're murdering your way thru enemies with alarming speed. The game makes consumate sense; this isn't one of those arbitrary games. You seek and you'll find logic that'll have you interfering like the lapdog of parliament that you are. Hell, there's one guy I've seen blow thru it with a stave/caster build (no NG+ either), and I thought that was impossible. Extreme builds like that just require forethought and understanding of the logic and connections whirring along inside this masterpiece.

    ~~~ On Persona 5, I hadn't heard that reform/delinquent school theory! Now I want a Persona x Cromartie High!

    The protag? He's a milquetoast Harry Potter. That's why his later personality reveals were so scintillating; suddenly: Picaresque (and maybe Pride)!

    Note: I don't self-insert, so make of this what you will.

    ~~~ Man, losing the GIA twice is cruel.

    ~~~ I've just realized Lena is doing a wonderful Soundteam_JDK impression with these bumpers in this. Send her my praise.Edited July 2015 by SatelliteOfLove
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  • Avatar for hal9k #14 hal9k 2 years ago
    @cldmstrsn @jeffcorry I had a similar experience with FF3 - the last dungeon was tough and took multiple tries, but it was doable with a little grinding and preparation. I first played the DS remake, and I was very slightly disappointed - I was hoping for a job system as deep as FF5. Still, I bought my DS specifically to play FF3 and I certainly don't regret that decision, so I can't complain.

    I agree with Kat about Persona: as much affection as I still have for Final Fantasy, I look forward to new Persona more now. I'm more of a left-brain, math and science person and I don't think I tend to notice visual art much. So it's a testament to how strong the art design is in the Persona games that I love those primary colors. I remember saying back in 2008: "Blue. Yellow. The next one has to be red."
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