So around December I found this site and decided to give 1.3 a try. I had played vanilla back when I was in school about 5 years ago and really enjoyed it...but after I got Orlandu I powerleveled a bit and then realized the game was no longer challenging, so I never even finished. I think the last battle I played back then was the Bethla Sluice Gate. Anyway, around new years I figured 1.3 sounded perfect to restore the challenge, so I found an emulator and gave it a go. I just barely got by Sweegy Woods and could not get past Dorter Slums, proving just how little I actually knew about the game.
I then I tried Easytype, which was much more in line with my ability, and I got pretty far into the game. I think I made it all the way up to Balk I, but at that point I was itching to give the real 1.3 a try again. I learned an awful lot about the game by playing Easytype. Starting 1.3 again I paid a lot more attention to intra-party compatibility, balanced leveling, being conscious not to overlevel, etc. Now after a few weeks I'm finally near the end, which is the first time I've ever gotten this far on any version of FFT. I must say, I really enjoy the difficulty spike once you hit Murond. Everyone being immortal-flagged in the home stretch really makes things interesting - a few bad turns and a battle that was seemingly in control now has the entire enemy team revived. Because of this, I think the underground book storage level 4 might have been the most difficult of the final battles so far, just because you have to kill everyone. Against Rofel/Kletian/Balk, it was difficult finding the right setup to get the assassination in, but once I found it I think each of those battles was over in less than 2 rounds. If those were kill 'em alls, The entire battle though he was getting horrible luck landing Sky Demon Back, even when there were only 2 or 3 panels to hit. I had him in a corner once with only 2 panels and it hit 8 of 10 times on the blank spot. I finally got him though when he carelessly wandered to the bow of the airship...Malak cornered him and he was standing on the only available Untruth panel. He gave the big wimper on the 8th hit at about 375 each, then Malak gave him 2 more shots just for fun.
So that brings me to Altima...I understand this may be a long battle so it may take a while to finally finish the game. I'm at level 71, which is probably higher than recommended but doable since I see some Level 99 runs out there.
I've been lurking around these forums since around December, so I've seen the drama with Archael and 1.3 take place...but really, everyone who had even a small hand in this patch deserves a massive thank you. Playing 1.3 has been about the most satisfying video game experience I think I've had...it's tough to explain the fist-pumping satisfaction you get from finally taking down a battle you've struggled to crack even with dozens of resets (looking at you Zalmo I and Velius), but it's borderline euphoric. The fun I've had playing 1.3 has inspired me to find a way to contribute to this community, even if I have no hacking skills.