You’ve seen it tucked away in the corners of your local Crow’s Nest. It’s bright and alien compared to its surrounding, but it’s oddly inviting. To Noctis and crew, these little cabinets are fun ways to unwind after a long, stressful adventure. We real-world players know a pinball machine when we see it. Of course, we’d be wrong. That’s not pinball – that’s Justice Monsters Five!
What the heck is Justice Monsters Five?
Set in a fantasy realm (inside of a fantasy realm) where a space fleet is coming to take over the galaxy, a small group of heroes form to resist them. These are the Justice Monsters! The game itself is a bit like pinball, except there are no bottom paddles, the bumpers change constantly, and the various targets are enemy monsters that move and even attack you. The ball itself is one of the four of your available heroes, each with their own traits and properties.
That sounds weird. How do I play?
Well, JM5 machines usually take gil to start up, and the cost will depend on where you are, ranging from 10 to 10,000 gil. The quality of the prizes you can earn varies between machines, so make sure you have some cash on you.
Gameplay is relatively straightforward. Your hero ball will roll back and forth on the surface of your concave bottom bumper. You can tap the bumper to shoot the ball quickly towards the opposite end of the board, or you can hold it down for a charge attack. Where the ball is on the bumper will determine which direction the ball will go, so precision and timing are big factors.
The goal is to destroy the monsters on the field, which are often tucked behind obstacles, by hitting them with the ball. A single hit isn’t always enough – monsters have HP that has to be whittled down. Beat all the monsters and the board is cleared, producing another brand new one in the next wave. Every so often, a bigger, badder Boss enemy surfaces to provide a challenging encounter.
Sounds easy. Is that it?
Of course not! This your first Final Fantasy?
Remember those monsters you have to defeat? They can actually attack and do damage to your orbs as they pass. Every once in awhile, they will radiate a pulse that hits whatever is near it. Part of the strategy of the game is working around these timers to avoid damage. Enemies themselves have elemental properties, too – each with strengths and weaknesses. Exploiting their weaknesses while defending your own is a key strategy to get you into the later stages. Fire beats Earth, Earth beats Lightning, Lightning beats Water, Water beats Fire. Light and Darkness only affect each other. Got it?
Also, remember our different types of attacks, quick and charged? Well, charged attacks add an additional quality to you orb when you launch it, and different heroes have different charged attacks. In a circle next to their element, there will be a letter – B, C, or P.
B is for Burst, and it causes an explosion to happen on contact with the enemy, doing extra damage. C is for Climb, and it will allow shots to roll up walls instead of bounce, so that they can circumvent obstacles on the board. P is for Pierce, which will make shots travel through enemies instead of bounce off of them.
Heroes themselves have special attacks, which can range from healing spells to big damage moves. The Tech Bar (the blue one) will flash when the individual tech is ready to go, but be careful- they can be hard to use effectively without practice.
Seems complicated, but I think I get it.
Good, because there’s more.
During play, there are a bunch of things you should keep your eyes out for. Combos, when you hit the same monster more than once consecutively, will do more damage with each consecutive hit and produce more points per hit. Some monsters, especially bosses, will have a weak point, denoted by a red crosshair on a particular position of its body. You will do lots of bonus damage if you can hit the monsters at these points.
After reaching a particular score threshold (that you’ll see light up in the center of the board), Justice Slots will appear! Depending on your combination of pictures, you can earn extra points, regain health, or even do damage to every monster on screen. When they jump out at you, don’t be frightened! It’s a good thing.
This is a lot to handle. What do I get for all of this?
Sweet prizes, that’s what!
The goal is to score treasure chests, something you need the Justice Slots for. Every spin, you can earn 2 or 5 treasure chests. Accumulating these chests will net you fabulous prizes based on how many you turn in. For the most part, it’s cool and useful gear and accessories. But the biggest prize, granted for turning in 99 treasure chests from a 10,000 gil board, is a Wind-up Lord Vexxos!
Why is that good?
Well, as confirmed by folks like LemonEatingKow, Vexxos can be combined with elemancy to make a killer Ultima spell, but he also sells for 500,000 gil – which is quite a pretty penny.