Thursday, 1 May 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Nine

Part Eight


Day Five: I'm Yelling Timber

 Once Zog and Co. get off the train in Timber, the first man they see at the station is their contact.

 Which means we get to use the 'I hear springtime is lovely in Amsterdam' style code. Yay!

Ehehehe, so cute!
 Their contact leads them to the rebel base. Which is a train.

 Okay, let's talk about this for a second.

 I'm not going to concentrate on how they got it or how they power it, I want to point out the real main flaw with them using a train as their mobile base.

 As you well know, trains are not like planes or vans, so unlike the Scooby gang or Agents of SHIELD, the Timber Owls are stuck on a track.

 Do you know what happens when you have a rogue, unauthorised train on a rail system?

 See, it's all well and good being a resistance group, but unlike AVALANCHE, these guys are battling an occupying force. They're endangering Timberites with this, not Galbadians.

 But even if they were endangering Galbadians, it's my understanding that President Deling is a dictator. So it's people who are being oppressed who are being endangered, not oppressors.

 Combine this with the 'Garden basically trains child soldiers but no one ever mentions it' thing and I'm starting to get the impression that VIII doesn't really understand how deep and dark the themes it's given itself are.

 That's not to say it's a bad game for doing this. I am enjoying it, for all of it's problems, but it's not a mature game. The themes themselves might be mature, but the game is dealing with them in a rather juvenile way.

 At least, so far. It might get more mature as I play it.

 Speaking of juvenile, once they're on the train, one of the members of the resistance movement asks Zog to go fetch another member.

 Of course, the three SeeD mercenaries think that walking to the end of a two carriage train is beyond them and they shouldn't be asked to do such menial work.

Fig. 1
 Zog, it's not like he asked you to go down the shops and get him a packet of crisps. He basically told you to walk less than eight meters to fetch someone that needs to be there in order for the discussion of what your duties actually are can begin.

 Grow up.

 There is a scale, and this task is actually so menial that it isn't worth complaining about, because it's so simple and they're your bosses.

 Sorry, my rage at Zog got the better of me there.

 Really, my basic problem is that these three are pretty full of themselves for people who passed their final mercenary-ing exam the previous day. Did their education not fill them in on the fact that conflicts generally involve fairly long periods of waiting around and only short bursts of deadly excitement?

 Well, Zog does actually do what he's told (whilst whining, mind you), and goes to fetch the 'princess' who is apparently having a nap.

 Ooh, this does not bode well.

 I'd be surprised if any of you didn't see this coming, but it turns out that the final member of the resistance group needed to discuss the plan is Rinoa.

See? Totally her.
 Despite her flinging herself into his arms, Rinoa is more interested in knowing where Seifer is.

 So am I, if I'm honest.

 With Rinoa came her dog, and I got to name both of them.

 I named the dog after Faiz.

A Faiz in her natural habitat, also a cat named Jung
 For Rinoa that was only one real choice for a new name.

 I mean, she's referred to as a princess, wears blue, has angel wings on the back of her cardie, and hangs out with a bloke I named Zog.

 Of course I'm going to name her Nina.

 Was there any doubt that that would be the case?

 There was one big problem with Nina, and that is that she came with a bloody tutorial.

 They had to teach me how to train Faiz to use varying limit breaks, which I need a bunch of magazines for. Which is... okay, I guess.

 Thing is, I don't think I've ever played a game that had so many tutorials before, or at least one that had this many this close together.

 Zog takes the newly christened Nina back to the others so the plan can finally be revealed to the SeeD mercenaries.

 Sadly for Selfie, it doesn't involve blowing a train to smithereens with a rocket launcher.

 Yeah, this appears to be the reason that they have a train, specifically for this plan.

 What is the plan?

 The plan is to kidnap the president of Galbadia.

 They plan to achieve this goal with this step by step plan:

It's... very colour coded?
 This plan seems entirely based on the idea that no one is going to notice trains being decoupled and re-coupled a few times.

 Also, what about that second escort car? Surely they'll immediately notice that they're losing momentum and coming to a stop once they're decoupled from the president's car.

 Not to mention that the president may actually have someone in his car with him the entire time. They say he's very grouchy and have factored that in to how they're going to trick the guards to thinking that he's still there, but what if he's got someone in to talk about security for his trip? Or someone is bringing him coffee? Or he's sexually harassing someone in his car?

 There are a thousand and one reasons why there may very well be someone in that car with him, and they haven't thought of any of them.

 But then again, this does seem consistent with the rather juvenile tone of this game. The reason for the kidnapping is a good example of this, but we'll talk about that another time.

 Speaking of juvenile, here's Zell's thoughts on the train model used to represent the dummy car in the strategy meeting.

You're making me not like you any more, man
Zog's opinion.

Truly, they are brothers in douchebaggery
 Aaaand Selphie's after Nina explains/claims that she put all of her hatred for President Deling into it.

And Selphie is their sister
Oh, you crazy kids... insulting your boss like that.

 Were there no customer service classes at Garden?!

 You're basically in a service industry, albeit one that revolves around death, and you repeatedly throw hissy fits at your bosses and insult them. You're really not doing much for the reputation of your Garden.

 Especially since you don't seem to realise that it's entirely likely that in the post-occupation Timber, these rebels will have influential positions.

 Top notch work, guys, top notch.

 So the squad prepares for the plan to go into action, which we'll cover during Part Ten - Day Five: Training Montage.

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