100+ Hours Logged

Back in April, I started playing Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age in earnest. It’s a blast and I’ve had fun with it. However, it’s also entirely too goddamn long. As of this writing, I have logged over 100 hours on it, and I have yet to finish. Mind you, that’s 100 hours on the in-game timer, which does not include resets, backtracking, or Game Overs. Granted, I’m pretty sure that since TZA allows you to exit to the Main Menu at any point, you could count the amount of actual Game Overs I’ve racked up on one hand, but I’ve had to quit to the Menu and start over a good number of times. If I’ve logged over 100 hours, I’ve probably played closer to 200 hours, total.

This past weekend, I finally reached the end game. At this point, I can choose to either complete any remaining side quests that tickle my fancy or proceed to the final dungeon. When I was working my way through the rest of the game, I decided in advance that at very least, I would complete all of the Hunts the game had to offer (side quests that require finding and defeating optional bosses), and I would do my best to accrue as much of the best equipment as I could stand to go after.

But now, I’m far from certain I want to follow through on that. I’ve already been playing this game for several months, to the exclusion of several other games and distractions I could use to neglect my duties. There’s still a ton of Hunts and side quests to take care of, many of which appear to be ridiculously maximal (I’ve been using this guide for almost the entire playthrough; I’ve always had massive problems figuring out side quests in Final Fantasy games on my own and I’m at peace with that), and a test of patience all their own. There’s a couple of non-Hunt-related optional bosses that I’m certain will suck to go after. Several fine and intriguing items and spells are hidden in a ludicrously complicated maze of a dungeon, one that also takes the liberty of disabling the in-game maps, to boot. The last Hunt in the game, I’m told, has 50 million HP. It’s too much.

On top of that, I’m quite certain I don’t need any of this crap to finish the game. Heck, I’m pretty sure I could storm the final dungeon immediately and not only beat the final boss, but do so with little difficulty. But all of this stuff is out there, taunting me with its very existence, and while the game has been great to me, there’s no way I’m going to do a second playthrough any time in the foreseeable future. If I want to experience any of these sections, now’s my chance. It would feel cheap and sort of boring to sprint to the finish now.

And, if I’m being honest with myself, I’m not really invested in the story, exactly. Don’t get me wrong, the story is pretty neat, and I appreciate many things about it. But the meat of the game is the Hunts and side quests. They’re what I’ve spent most of my time doing, and they’ve given me the biggest shots of that precious reward stimulus that drives all obsessive game playing. Typically, I’ve spent so much time between story quests doing other stuff that, by the time I finally swing back to the next mission, I’ve mostly forgotten where I am and what I’m trying to accomplish. It’s not like I need to know this for any in-game reason, either. You go through a dungeon, and then it ends. It’s pretty straightforward stuff.

Therefore, I’m conflicted. Do I finish the game already, or do I stay awhile and get comfy with some final side quests?

Despite this raging inner conflict, it remains the case that I know myself, and I know what I’ll inevitably end up doing. I’ll keep doing side quests for a while, until one comes along that, by virtue of being difficult, annoying, or both, breaks my resolve and forces me to conclude that it’s time to finish this motherfucker, already. Such is my destiny any time I play any Final Fantasy title, with the possible exception of VI. It’s been fun, but pretty soon here, it’s gonna be time to be done.

2 thoughts on “100+ Hours Logged

  1. When I beat the game, I found out that the new game+ mode starts you at level 95… I felt like a chump getting to level 60 something. I didn’t want to chase after all that other stuff because of the amount of grinding needed.


    1. Huh interesting. Maybe I’ll take that up someday; yesterday I went ahead and beat the thing. It was time to be done, I got other games I wanna get to at some point this year


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