Sunday, 20 April 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Four

 Part Three


 Day Two: I'd Rather Be In Seifer Hands

 Zog, Selphie and Zell still decided to stand around and wait for the Black Widow to come and get them even after they had to fight the accursed thing a few times.

 Zog  especially so, as he chickens out a while after Selphie and Zell do and has to dramatically dive onto the beach, and the dramatically run across the beach and then dramatically dive into the landing craft.

Yeah, I don't believe this guy has been in a war zone for a second
 Luckily for him, and all the poor idiots on the boat, he and his buddies didn't manage to doom the lot of them to a mechanical spidery death because Quistis saves the day.

Damn, she's cool
She basically shoots the Black Widow into a thousand itty bitty pieces while Zog crouches in the boat ineffectually.

 I'm going to be kind and assume that he didn't cower in there the entire trip back.

 Ah, the trip back, that was funny.

 We get this beautifully done cut scene of Quistis kicking ass and not caring to take names, and then it's straight back to the cartoonish overworld where forests look like large bushes and humans are larger than entire settlements.

 Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the TARDIS like nature of RPG overworlds in general. In the first two Breath of Fire games Zog and Co. looked like they could go Godzilla on entire kingdoms, but those were 16-bit games. The sprites always remained the same size. In Final Fantasy VIII it just looks comical because the character models are... well, realistic isn't quite the right word.

But realism is clearly what they were going for in this game, and the use of old school mechanics is jarring and just looks silly.

 So we get back to port and Seifer’s buddies are waiting for him, being all concerned for his safety and stuff. It’s touching, really.

 Also kind of funny that our present antagonist is a more sociable person than the protagonist right now. Yeah, Seifer is a dick, but he’s a dick who actually has friends. Whereas Zog is just your common or garden friendless misanthrope.

 Right now, I think I’d rather Seifer was Zog. He’s just more interesting.

 For starters, he and his friends drive off with the car, leaving the actual Zog behind with Zell and Selphie. I don’t think Zog actually has the spine to do something like that.

 Zell and Selphie are frustrated at being left behind and Zog tells them they might as well just walk. Which is fine by me.

You mean we don't get to travel in the hideous TARDIS car? Gee golly gosh, what a shame
 So they walk back and we get into a couple of monster encounters. Which is something I found rather frustrating as they didn't seem any easier than the first couple of times I fought the electric flies with Zog and Quistis.

 Combined with the Contrived Finish achievement, I'm now convinced that this is one of those games where levelling up is bordering on the totally pointless. Levelling up your GF seems to have a purpose, but not really your characters.

 So I dragged their arses back to Garden and now I can show you the weirdly theme park like entrance way.

Looks weirdly like a theme park or zoo here

More like a train station here
 I thought this was meant to be a school?

 Oh, speaking of, after the gang split up I made Zog head in and managed to see Seifer get a bollocking from one of the teachers. The problem here is that I was too tired to write this post before I slept, so this whole section is now a little bit fuzzy in my head. But the basic gist was something like; Seifer liked to hold onto his 'Captain' status (even though we've been through what a bad job he did of that), one of the instructors tells him he'll never be a SeeD because he's a dick, Quistis weighs in and Seifer says she's terrible at her job and then the Headmaster comes on in.

 He says something about disciplining Seifer, but that he's also sympathetic to him... I don't know, I was too busy trying to work out if Cid was his first or last name. It's not super clear.

 Anyway, his involvement is cut short by Raiden or the Hokage guy who tells him he needs to be back in his office in a needlessly creepy fashion.

 Long story short, Zog is called up to the office and is one of the four trainees that passed the exam.

 As a side note, the three not Selphie, not Seifer kids in his class all snapped their fingers in unison when they found out they hadn't passed. Why don't those three have a game? They're more entertaining than Zog and I've seen them for about two minutes altogether.

 So Zog, Selphie, Zell and a fourth guy who Cid tells not to worry even though he doesn't stand out, all get promoted in the worlds most subdued ceremony. Which is also interrupted by Hokage Raiden in a needlessly creepy manner.

 Dude, let the Headmaster do his job.

Although he may not be that good at it, gunblades aren't very good weapons
 Upon emerging, Zog and the other three new SeeDs are applauded by their classmates. An applause that was, notably, led by Seifer.

 Hey, look at that, character development already. Take note Zog.

 Zog heads back to his room and it's time to get ready for some festival everyone's been excited for, but I've just not been interested in.

 So stay tuned for Part Five - Day Three: Some Festival Thing

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