Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Five

Part Four


 Day Three: Get Your Back Up Off The Wall

 Here, have a picture of Zog in his SeeD trainee uniform:

Still looking good, Zog
 Enjoy it while you can folks, his terrible fashion sense will be back to haunt us soon enough.

 For the moment, though, he's got a party to go to and that involves changing into his brand spanking new SeeD uniform.

 So, once he's at the party, what does he do?

Life and soul of the party, everyone
 Zog, why did you even bother going if you hate it so much?


 The entire party sequence is just a bunch of cutscenes, so you only get to talk to Zell, Selphie (why does she bother?) and some bird in a white dress.

 He doesn't even say anything to that waitress. Dude, you're not Link, you can and do talk. Say thank you, you ingrate. You shame the name of Zog.

 The girl in the white dress is Rinoa, not that she bothers to tell Zog that. She just spots a pretty guy, walks up to him and does this:

What the?

Lady, hypnosis is not a solid foundation for a relationship
 And then they dance!

 Honestly, this isn't a terrible cut scene. I enjoy watching Rinoa try to let Zog lead before she just gives up because he's clearly an incompetent boob and just takes over.

 Although I'm not sure it says good things about Zog's personality that he only seems capable of enjoying himself when he's literally forced into it.

 Also, let's take a moment to really enjoy how good Zog looks in his SeeD uniform.

Damn, son
Once their dance under the moonlight is over, Rinoa goes over to her friends and leaves our hapless misanthrope to stare after her longingly.

 ... Holy hell, she really is a hypnotist.

By the way, wasn't it a super slim crescent moon only a few hours ago?
 After he's given up on Rinoa asking him to dance again, Zog runs off to a balcony to mope until Quistis shows up.

 Apparently she was watching a totally different cut scene to the one that was used in the final game, because she said that the dance was perfect. Either that or she has painfully low standards. Darcey Bussel she is not.

 With Quistis comes the call back to adventure.

 Unfortunately it means that the time has come.

 Zog has to put his actual, character specific, outfit on.

The horror
 I die a little inside every time I have to look at it.

 Zog goes to meet Quistis at the training area and here we get another tutorial.

 This time it's about junctioning status magic to attack and defence. Of course, this time she teaches me about this with an example spell that I don't bloody have. You may argue that it's not so bad since you can draw it off the monsters in the Garden's mini Jurassic Park, but again I have to take exception to my time being wasted with tutorials that don't have permanent effects and always use examples that I do not have access to at that exact moment.

 Also, she teaches me this so I can use it against something called a T-Rexaur. What is a T-Rexaur?

 I have no idea, as the entire time I was in the training area I didn't encounter a single one of them.

 I didn't even realise I was able to use the ability I was just taught how to use because the user interface is such a pain in the neck and there's so much to keep on top of. I've come to dread changing party members because there's so much.

 Weirdly, I appreciate Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and it's sequel because of how detailed the character customisation could get, but here I find it frustrating. Quite possibly because unlike in those games, I don't get to have specialist team members I can swap out for each skirmish but instead have a small pool of resources that keeps having to be swapped from party member to party member using an incredibly counter intuitive UI.

 I don't feel like any of these characters have their own identities in battles. The only ones with any battle identities are the GFs.

 So, why did Quistis drag Zog on this trip to the 'secret area', which is just a lover's lane, anyway?

 Because they fired her from being a teacher at Balamb Garden.

 No, really, that's it.

 Honestly, I can see why she did this. She clearly has a thing for Zog, and by taking him to a romantic location to declare that the only notable obstacle to any potential relationship isn't just dead but super dead, maybe he'd open up and make a move.

 Of course, she forgot the biggest obstacle to any potential relationship between them:

 The fact that he's a massive dick.

 I like Quistis, or at least I did before she told Zog to get changed back into that monstrosity, so I can't help but dislike Zog even more.

 He treats everyone with total disdain unless I stop him from doing so. I can't even pick the conversation option that looks like it might be the funniest because I cannot trust him not to be horrible to his team mates.

 And that angers me.

 So, after he's basically blown off Quistis' incredibly gentle advances, they head back to the main part of the Garden. On the way back the creepy shawl wearing girl from the opening scene in the clinic screams for help from 'Zog and Quisty' as she's being attacked by monsters that still aren't the T-Rexaur I went through that tutorial because of.

The Raldos look cool though
 This fight was weird. There was a flying monster that would pick these ones up and throw them at Zog and Quistis. Still kind of cool though.

 After defeating the monsters, the creepy shawl girl is escorted away by these Solid Snake looking bodyguards and Quistis references the fact that neither she nor Zog has any clue who this woman is.

 So let's skip the next bit where Zog is a dick to Quistis some more and instead talk about when Zell tells Zog he's now got his own room.

 Because Zell looks really good in his formal uniform too.

 The weird thing about this is that I have no idea who Zog's old room mate was. The only other person I recall seeing in there was Selphie, and I don't know whether I was supposed to see that as a sign she was in the other bed cubicle thing or just her trying to be helpful and friendly.

 So, functionally, nothing seems to have changed.

 What a day, the adventure will continue in Part Six - Day Three: A blog within a blog

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