So, that's FFV done. While the game experince is NOT typical of how things are going to go for this site, I do have some post game thoughts.
Playing on Hardware
So, first off, I played this game on an actual GBA SP. It was largely an enjoyable experince! As I noted in my World 3 write up, it even lead to a few RNG bugs that I exploited to streamline my run. In the past I've played this game in multiple other ways. I played on a handleld emulator device, I played the Android port, and I've dabbled in the Steam/PSN ports (but not done a full playthrough). I think the in-game changes between versions are more significant than the form factor.
The biggest challenge was the lack of "autobattle". In runs past, I'd use this feature for grinding in at least to specific places. First, for Gil in Karnack (why do those wolves carry so much money?) and in B1 of Castel Bal for ABP/Gil/XP. I know, Bal isn't the most efficient place to grind. But its easy. Doubly so with autobattle. But even without, I was able to more-or-less mentally disconnect and play for an hour or so.
I know that the whole series is known for good music. I enjoy a lot of it. I either forgot just how good FFV's music was, or because of how I'd engaged with the FJF in years past, just didn't know. By the time I'd gotten into W2, I went and bought the soundtrack.
Playing right after FFIV
Playing right after FFIV really shows how much the series grew between those iterations. While I enjoyed IV a lot (and, that enjoyment was a large catalyst in starting this project in earnest), its ... very on rails. All your party memebers have set skills. There's not a lot of variance in approaches to finishing the game.
FJF Specific Thoughts
Speaking of variances, that's the reason the Fiesta is so popular, and has such staying power. The way I like to describe it is: FFV presents you a massive toolset to solve all the problems (bosses) in the game. The Fiesta says "ok, but you can only use these 4" and forces you to get creative in how you approach the issues. Sure, you can always just grind out levels and over power Neo. But you can also use job synergy to do it. And, I like re-playing the game seeing which parts I remember and which ones I either need to look up (stupid floor puzzles) or just don't remember at all (somehow, I'd blanked out most of the Rift zones between W3 and the Void). Others, I'd just had no reason to do. Last year was the first time I'd done summoner, so I'd not engaged with that part of the game before. This year was my first time in fork tower. There's always something new to discover, or a new way to approach things.
Overall feelings compared to other FF games
So, this game really means a lot to me. It was my first FF game, my first full re-play of a game, and has really infulenced my taste in games over the past ~5 years. So yeah. I like this game. For me, its the example of "16 bit JRPG" that I end up measuring things against.
If I get to the end of this experiment, and still feel motivated, I might dive into Bravely Default, a Nintendo DS era love letter to this game specifically.
Until then, go well and walk in the light of the crystals