Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Twenty

Part Nineteen


Day Nine: Nonsensical Absences

I've got to admit, for all I keep making fun of her outfit, the Sorceress does look really cool and intimidating in this section.

I know she's just standing there,
but damn if she isn't doing it with style.
 She also keeps up with the slightly cryptic stuff when she's being all mildly threatening.

 "... A SeeD," she says, "planted in a run-down garden."

 Zog steadies himself and the fight begins. It doesn't take long for Nina and Irvine to joing the battle.

 Although, one wonders how the hell they got there so fast.

 Yeah, they've had a reasonable amount of time to walk across the three screens it would take to get to the triumphal arch, but at the same time... did they fight their way through some soldiers/guards/policemen? Were the understandably panicking crowds not a problem?

 Speaking of distance and timing, where the hell are the gateway team?!

 They are literally right next to this!

 All they need to do is climb down a ladder and walk through a bloody door!

 Why are they not here being incredibly ineffectual because all their junctions are on the other three?

 I want answers!

 I know I'm not going to get them, and that saddens and angers me.

 When they join Zog, Nina and Irvine have little lines of dialogue that they spout. Possibly in an attempt to... I'm not really sure. Character development maybe?

 Nina says that she can fight if she's with him, and that's why she's there.

 Oh, dear, you're able to fight now because there's some distance between you and the brainwashing, and you want to protect the world from an evil Sorceress bent on global domination and destruction, the scale of which no one has ever seen before. Also, revenge for the aforementioned brainwashing.

 The guy in the silly outfit is rather incidental to all that.

 This isn't a blossoming romance, this is imprinting after trauma.

 Irvine's dialogue is more sensible.

 "I have to redeem myself," he says. Which is true, he did basically botch the entire plan and doom Balamb Garden to destruction by a vindictive magic user.

 Understandable development, but blaaand. Blander than foreigners think English food is.

 By the way, this is what the Sorceress looks like when she's casting spells:

"And then my breasts swelled to the size of wildebeest."
 I didn't do too badly with this fight, no one got knocked out, and I could have made it last an awful lot longer. However, the plot wasn't interested in allowing me to do that, so, it cheated and nipped the fight in the bud with an FMV cutscene.

 Now, I have no idea if this was meant to be an unwinnable boss fight, or this is how it's supposed to go, but I feel cheated either way.

 She wasn't particularly overwhelmingly powerful, and getting to the end of the fight wasn't a struggle. It wasn't much more of a struggle than the fight with Seifer.

 I generally dislike this kind of thing.

 Anyway, this section ends with Zog getting stabbed in the shoulder with a spear of ice and dramatically falling off a parade float.

He can't be falling more than six feet.
It's really not as dramatic as it's been framed. Less so, when later events are taken into consideration. But we'll get to that.

 Right now it's time for another Laguna flashback.

 This time it begins with him talking to a small child that he calls Elle, but who is actually named Ellone.

 She came to his house from next door in order to tell him about a strangely dressed guest, but he doesn't like that. He tells her that monsters suck the blood of cute little girls like her and that would make him sad if they caught her.

 She takes this well, but it does seem to do the trick, and he heads downstairs, offering prayers in memory of Ellone's dead parents before going outside into the town square.

 Yeah, dude, monsters are totally going to attack you-

 I stand corrected.

 Once he's made sure the coast is clear, Laguna and Ellone head into the house next door which turns out to be a pub of some description. It also turns out that the strange guest is Kiros, who doesn't contradict Ellone's description at all.

 I don't know who told him that that shade of brown leather looked good with his skin tone, but they need to be found and stopped. It just manages to make him look like he isn't wearing anything over most of his body, which sadly includes his crotch.

 I feel like I'm being flashed.

 The two men and the bar tender, who is a woman named Raine who also appears to be Ellone's guardian, get into a conversation. It covers various topics, including what Julia's been up to.

 Apparently she has managed to kick off her career as a singer, and her first big hit was 'Eyes On Me' a song so blatantly written about Laguna, I find it almost physically painful. It also turns out that in the two years since Laguna fell off a cliff, she was courted and comforted after the loss of her true love by a man named General Caraway.

 Dunn dunn duuuuunnn.

 She's Rinoa's mother!

 But more to the point, what the hell is wrong with Laguna?

 He didn't write to Julia once in two years? I get that they weren't necessarily romantically involved, but Laguna liked her and they seemed to be friendly at least.

 It never occurred to him that she might like to know that he wasn't dead?

She might be happier if she knew you were alive.
 Damnit Laguna! You're letting me down, I liked you!

 The conversation also turns to Ward and what he's been up to since Laguna pushed him off a cliff.

 He quit the army, like Kiros and Laguna, and never regained the use of his voice. These days he works in a prison as a janitor,

 Finally, it bears mentioning that there was an option to have Zog comment on the conversation. Something that answers a question I had been asking myself since the first fight in this flashback section:

 Does Laguna know the GFs are there?

 It turns out that he and the other three are aware that the GFs are there. However, they don't know what they are. They refer to them and the voices of the SeeDs as 'faeries', they also consider them a boon as they make battles easier.

 Which comes in handy, as they're going to be doing a fair amount of fighting as they run to the outskirts of town and back on a patrol.

 So look forward to the next post, where we not only cover Laguna and Kiros catching up, but also what happens after Zog's hallucinatory episode is over.

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