Sunday, February 10, 2013

Top 7: Overpowered Abilities in RPGs

See those numbers climb.
Well, for reasons that are beyond my control, or even comprehension, even though Fire Emblem Awakening was released last week, my local Gamestop STILL doesn't have a copy. What the Hell!? Why is the universe preventing me from getting my hands on a copy of this game!? True, I can download it from the Nintendo eShop for the same price, but I'd rather have a physical copy of a game that I can hold in my hands, that's just me. Anyway, putting that aside, I've decided to bring back one of my favorite time wasting activities, coming up with pointless lists that pleases no one, not even myself, and then claim some sort of authority on the subject of an entirely opinion based topic.

This time I'm going to be talking about Overpowered Abilities. Abilities that are so skewed, that any kind of balance is thrown right out the window as soon as they become available. For this list, an Overpowered Ability is an ability whose effectiveness exceeds it's cost by overwhelming levels. It is not just how much Damage it does or effects that it gives, but also how often can it be used and does it make the game overly easy once it is introduced. Now since I prefer to not cross genres in these lists, I will only cover overpowered RPG abilities, and in order to be on this list the item must be extremely effect, and have a cost that is quite frankly laughable. And so without any further ado, here is my Top 7: Overpowered Abilities in RPGs. Why Top 7?...Why not?


Synchronicity Chain + Replekia

From: Ar Tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica
Song Magic in the Ar Tonelico series has always been overpowered, and that was partly the point; you need Song Magic to beat the game. However, after the first game the series really likes making Song Magic this force of absolute destruction by adding mechanics that increased it's damage output, but none was more powerful than the Synchronicity Chain and Replekia in Ar Tonelico II. Replekia is an ability that one of your singers, Cloche, has which increases the speed of the Song Magic's Burst gauge (which determines damage). However, this is nothing compared to the Synchronicity Chain available later in the game which not only transforms some Song Magic into a unique version of it, but causes the Burst gauge to go crazy. And then you can causes both Replekia AND Synchronicity Chain to activate simultaneously allowing you to make all kinds of crazy records like over 100,000,000 points of damage to a single target. Now, why is this so low on the list if it is the very definition of Overpowered? Well, because it is actually hard to pull off, not because it is a difficult skill, but rather because it takes a while to get it activated and most enemies are already dead by that point. It is more of a badge of honor, then any kind of game breaking mechanic.


Over Realm

From: Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis
Another Gust game but one with a more balanced battle system. Mana Khemia's Battle system works on a Turn Cost system where each action costs a certain amount of time to recover from, or even to execute. This leads to some really useful skills and auto-abilities like Quick which sometimes halves the time it takes to recover from an action, or Rapid Move which completely eliminates said wait time. But there is one skill that breaks this system completely in half: Vayne's Over Realm Skill. Over Realm is a skill that must charge to take effect, but once activated Vayne will act 3 times in a row with absolutely no wait time (Much like the Quick spell in Final Fantasy VI). However, it doesn't take long to realize that if you use Over Realm again as your second action, Vayne will activate it as his third action giving him another 3 turns. Just repeat this over and over again and you can kill anything without it being able to attack. While this is overpowered, it is still low on the list because of it's SP cost of 54 making it somewhat in efficient as you need to keep pumping Vayne with SP recovery items as his first action to keep this pattern going.


Knights of the Round

From: Final Fantasy VII
Do I even need to explain this? The reason Knights of the Round was even in the game was for the purpose of it being incredibly overpowered. 13 different hits, each dealing at least 7000 and up to 9999 points of damage? Outside of possibly the Emerald and Ruby Weapons is there any enemy in Final Fantasy VII that has just shy of 13,000 HP? True, it has a massive MP cost of 250 and the only way to get it is to either kill the nigh impossible Ruby Weapon or to play the Guidedammit Chocobo raising side quest to get a Golden Chocobo, but as soon as you got it almost nothing can stop you... But then again there is little point after going to such lengths.


Aether + Ragnell

From: Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Ah Fire Emblem, known as one of the most ball bustingly hard Strategy RPGs of all time. Where if an ally falls you can kiss him goodbye forever, and the lack of in battle saves for many of the entries makes such a mistake hard to recover from. But how come the last stage of Path of Radiance is arguably the easiest part of the game? Well the answer is simple, it is the Aether + Ragnell combo. See, halfway though the game Ike upgrades into a Lord and, if you give him the Occult scroll, can learn the skill Aether. What is Aether? It is a random chance skill that when activated will do two separate strikes; the first restores Ike's HP equal to the amount of damage he deals, and the second ignores the defense of the enemies Ike is attacking. This effectively makes Ike really hard to kill, but it does make him go though weapons a lot faster too and he still has no response to long range attacks. That's where Ragnell comes in, not only is it the best sword in the game period, but it also has infinite durability, negates criticals, add 5 to Ike's defense, AND can attack at a range. Pretty much, the only character you need in the final stage is Ike.


Genji Glove + Offering

From: Final Fantasy VI
We all remember General Leo, right? He was awesome, especially during the brief time we played as him because he had this cool looking ability Shock and could attack four times. Later in the game we discovered that we to could have the ability to wreak massive destruction if we had one thing: The Offering. This relic allowed one character to attack 4 times in a single turn at the cost of not being able to tell him who to attack. It doesn't take long to realize what the Genji Glove, a relic that allow the character to equip two weapon and attack twice in battle. A relic that doubles the number of attacks you get, and a relic that quadruples the number of attacks you get. It was inevitable. And thus we have the Genji Glove + Offering combo, the broken overpowered core of several other combos, my personal favor, Genji Glove + Offering + Max HP + Atma Weapon x2 + the Quick Spell = 159984 points of damage... in one turn.

PS: Yes, I know I'm using the SNES translation names for everything. The new translations of FFVI can kiss my ass.


Lunar Light

From: Skies of Arcadia
 "Moons, bath us in your light." And BOY do they. Lunar Light is Fina's ultimate Super Move and it completely breaks an already rather easy game into a complete joke. Now, I love Skies of Arcadia, it has a great world, great characters, great storyline, it is a great game, but it does have some major balance issues and this is chief among them. Why? Well let's start with what it does: Lunar Light revives, completely heals, and removes all negative status effect for your ENTIRE PARTY. Now that is already incredibly useful in of itself and is worthy of a ultimate Super Move, what makes it way too overpowered is not just it's effect but it's cost: 18 SP. The most powerful healing ability in the game and it only costs 18 SP. To put this into perspective, Vyse's ultimate Super Move is Pirates' Wraith, which deals massive damage to a single target, costs 21 SP. It only costs 3 more SP to deal massive damage to a single target, then to restore the entire party to perfect condition. Also keep in mind that this amount of SP can be accumulated in only 2 turns, if that. Oh and in case you where thinking that Fina could be killed before she can execute the skill, you're wrong. Defensive Super Moves, such as Lunar Light, occur at the start of the turn. So even if you're party consists only of a near-fatal Fina and every one else is dead, if you have 18 SP you are back into complete fighting shape.


The Agni Dragon

From: Breath of Fire
This is easily the most overpowered Ability in any RPG I have ever played and everyone who has played Breath of Fire knows all about the Agni Dragon. What is the Agni Dragon? The Agni Dragon is the "You Win" button. The protagonist of the Breath of Fire series, Ryu, has the ability to transform into a dragon, and the Agni Dragon is his ultimate Dragon form in the original Breath of Fire. It costs 60 AP to transform and you need your entire party to be alive and for Karn to be unfused in order to use it, but once you do every single fight in the game is a joke. Agni has 999 HP (the max) and deals 999 points of damage (also the max) to all enemies. The Dragon system in the original Breath of Fire was already unbalanced since there is no limit to how long you can stay in your Dragon form, the only things that force you to exit is to lose all your HP or to end combat, but the Agni Dragon just completely breaks it. Here is the boss strategy for every boss since getting the Agni Dragon: Turn 1: Use Agni, Turn 2-15: Autobattle, Turn 16: Win. Even the final boss falls to this simple strategy (though you might need to heal 2 maybe 3 times during the entire battle). And you want to know the best part? The Agni Dragon is required for the best ending. The game pretty much tells you you have to get the most overpowered ridiculous ability in the entire game, in order to see the happy ending.

And that's the Agni Dragon, the most overpowered ability in RPGs. If you have overpowered skills and I didn't mention them, leave comments... please... I would really like to hear from people... It gets lonely here.

Until next time

-Crescent, Wait a minute, that's it?

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