Monday, 5 May 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Ten

Part Nine


Day Five: Training Montage

 Is it still day five?

 Why yes it is.

 I wasn't feeling super well that day, so I played a lot of this game with my friend.

 Hence why there's so much of day five. It also doesn't help that so much stuff happens so quickly at this point in the game.

 I'm going to try and blitz through the next two big things that happen in this post so we're not spending the next 33 years and 350 days on just this one day.

 So, as you can garner from the title of this post, the mission to kidnap the President of Galbadia begins.

 The mission goes surprisingly well, for all the flaws I pointed out last time. It was also a lot less stressful than I was expecting, just a few stop and start sections, first when the team was climbing over the train cars and then when decoupling the trains.

 The FMV cutscenes of the trains moving around were pretty cool, and there were a selection of in game cutscenes that were a little ridiculous.

Poor lamb
  They mostly consist of President Deling being a dick to this one guy. Remember when I said that Biggs and Wedge had a relationship that made Edgeworth and Gumshoe in Turnabout Sisters look functional? This is worse.

 Galbadia's soldiers all seem to be hired on the principle that they can have their pay cut or stopped at more or less any time just on the say so of their superiors.

 Ah, Deling, you dictatorial douchebag. Your military no doubt reflects your personal politics.

 Thing is, while I do kind of like this as a sign of Galbadia's problems, I don't think that it's actually meant to be indicative of those problems.

 The intent doesn't seem to be 'look at the mess Galbadia is' as much as it seems to be...

 Well, this:

 Every single time we see any scene 'humanising' the Galbadian soldiers, it reminds me of this.

 These scenes are a running gag, the fact that I'm reminded of them during the ham fisted attempts to add any kind of balance to the ridiculous fluffy story about occupying nations and child soldiers is not a good thing!

 The fluffiness is only going to get worse in this post, so brace yourselves.

 Now, I feel like I need to point out that after the dummy car is coupled to the President's train it's almost immediately picked out as a fake.

 However, this has no impact, which makes you wonder what the point was.

 Speaking of impact...

Nice reflections, by the way
 What are you looking at? This, my friends is the second escort car reattaching to the rest of the train after the Owls and SeeDs make good their escape.


 No, seriously, the car speeds up after the Owl base scarpers.

 How? How the hell does that happen?

 There is no engine on the end of the train, therefore there is no means of propulsion for the second escort cart to keep moving. Not to mention that even if there was an engine on that end of the train, the driver would have to know to accelerate in order to reattach to the rest of the train.

 The driver would have to be in on the whole scheme!

 But, oh wait, there is no driver.


 Okay, deep breaths.

 So, now the Timber Owls have Deling in their custody.

 What are they going to do with/to him exactly?

 Talk to him.

 I have no idea what Nina thinks this is going to achieve, unless 'talk' and 'serious negotiations' are short hand terms for something far more sinister and actually likely to work.

 Which... why bother? These are mercenaries. They're contractually obligated to do what she tells them and this is exactly the kind of stuff they were trained for.

 Speaking of 'serious negotiations'.

 This happens:

Oh, no.
 Whenever they say something like this, it basically means that every junction has been unequipped.

 This time Bobbi was still junctioned, but she was the only thing that was. All magic, other GFs and even abilities were unequipped. I had to go through the poorly designed UI all over again in order to reattach everything to the characters, even the ability to do anything other than attack or defend.

 And you need to get everything set back up, or you'll be destroyed in the up coming battle.

 What? Did you think this was going to be easy?

 Who are you, Nina?

 So, we discover two things during the confrontation with the President.

Hey, you're doing my job for me
 One, it was a setup.

 Which does rather explain why nothing seemed to have been done after the almost immediate twigging that the decoy wasn't the President. It was a decoy all along.

 Honestly, is this that surprising? Dictators do this all the time. Remember Saddam Hussein? He had a pack of decoys following him around at all times. (On a side note, watch The Eagle Has Landed. Um, no particular reason, it's just a good film. And it has Michael Caine in it.)

 President Decoy is pretty dismissive of Nina, and he attacks her. Only for Zog and Co. to intercept and put a stop to his rebel murdering schemes.

 The thing is, he was talking in a vErY wEiRd WaY before he attacked her, and he seems a bit off.

Um, are you okay mate?
  A couple of turns in, we find out why.

 Two, boom! Surprise zombie president!

Seems a bit harsh to call the guy 'deformed',
he's the right shape for what he is
 Now this is some cool monster design. He looks good from all angles, he's monstrous with enough human elements to be extra terrifying... I like the colour scheme...

 He is one well designed zombie.

 Seemed a bit of a shame to kill him, but he did insist on using those bloody annoying status attacks all the time.

 Oddly, although him being weak to fire makes sense (in the words of Nanny Ogg 'fire kills everything'), the weakness to ice doesn't. I imagine it can slow zombies down, but kill them? I don't know that preservation is that dangerous.

 Regardless of my confusion, I still took him down with Bobbi and Jim.

 (It saddens me that I haven't had chance to use Kylie yet.)

 At this point they work out that Deling is in Timber, and they even manage to work out what he's doing there.

 This harks back all the way to Zog's SeeD exam in Dollet all the way back in the beginning of the game.

 The Galbadian army repaired the satellite there, and it turns out that the only TV station capable of using radio waves is the one in Timber.

 Are those two place really that close together? I haven't really had chance to check if I'm honest, but I kind of doubt it.

 Also, there's a huge problem here.

 So, if every other TV station uses cable, why has Timber bothered to keep all the equipment to broadcast in this way? Is Timber just the only place that uses radio waves for it's local programming?

 I don't really understand what's going on here.

 I'm not under the misapprehension that I will later in time, either.

 Selphie finds this all interminably boring, and would like to go back to Garden, so Zog checks the contract to see what the terms of their employment are.

 This is the answer he gets:

And this is the point where every clicks 'I agree' without reading
 Unsurprisingly, he has no idea what this means, and neither does anyone else. Luckily for them, though, Nina has a letter from Cid with a basic outline in normal English.

Yeah, he is spinning around back there.
Don't ask me why.
  'Until Timber achieves independence'?

 That could take years, decades if Nina is in charge.

 Unsurprisingly, Zog and Co. do not take kindly to the knowledge that they could die of old age while on this mission and complain.

 Nina takes a stand and reminds them that she's their boss, so they have to do what she tells them.

Try hypnotising them, it worked before
  They do manage to be a little less whiny during the mission to see what the President is getting up to during Part Ten - Day Five: The President's Speech.

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