Is there any other Final Fantasy game that kills off this many player characters during the course of gameplay? Palom and Porom, Tellah, Yang, Cid... it's a bloodbath, by FF standards. Now I'm fully expecting Edward to bite it sooner or later, or perhaps Edge.
Speaking of whom, is he supposed to come off as a punk kid? (Also, when exploring the caves that get you back into the Tower, can he pull off some ninja move to get the chests that I can see, but that aren't on the main path? Because if so, I have no idea how to make that work.) He also seems to have a bit of Tellah's revenge motive driving him, which is a little irritating since the game has already made the "revenge = bad" point with Tellah's story arc. Still, the fact that individual characters even have story arcs is something that pleases me. I like being able to go into the save menu and see everyone's thoughts; sometimes that's very telling.
So far, so good, as far as gameplay goes; the boss battle in the Tower gave me a little trouble, mostly because I kept fighting the Reverse status rather than rolling with it, but once I decided to play along it started going much better. Then I spent way too much time trying to find a way to continue forward in the Tower. Fortunate that there are a couple of save/tent points in there. I guess we get the rest of it now. Have I already mentioned that I like how the game rewards you for completing area maps? It's nice to get a bonus for seeking out every nook and cranny, especially in dungeons that don't have many treasure chests.