Friday, 9 May 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Thirteen

Part Twelve


Day Six: Deling With Grief

 I'm afraid the time has come, I have to expose you all to Zog's musings on the nature of life and death.

 It's going to be painful.

 Seeing teenagers wax lyrical about subjects that they simply do not understand is always painful.

 Teenagers who do understand things are often a delight to hear speak at length about those things, they can often take a new approach on a subject. But Zog is not that clever or insightful, not to mention that this seriously appears to be the first time he's actually encountered the death of an acquaintance.

 I can tell because he says things like this:

Oh, I'll show you what death is all about if you keep talking.
 Again, I find myself questioning the SeeD programme because it makes no goddamn sense.

 To be fair, I don't know much about the military, but I'm assuming that at some point during training they sit you down and talk to you about death and about how to deal with the deaths of friends and comrades and what services are available should you need them.

 But look at Zog, look at how he clearly has no understanding of death whatsoever.

 Does... no one in the Gardens ever die? Because SeeDs live there too, and they go out on missions and stuff. Not to mention that the final exam actively involves going into a warzone. People in the Gardens should be dying all the time.

 Maybe it's just Zog, though. Zell and Quistis  seem to understand what's going on, and even normally childish Selphie seems to have a better grasp on the concept than Zog does.

 It's a little bit annoying that Quistis talks down to Nina about being prepared for death when Zog's standing over there being so bloody surprised by it.

 Zog's waxing lyrical about death actually got so annoying that the friend I was playing with begged me to make him stop.

 Probably because Zog got weirdly and amazingly hung up on the fact that when you die, people talk about you in the past tense. He gets so obsessed with that that this happens:

What the?
 Just to clarify, all the crap he's been saying about death has been an internal monologue. So this has literally come right the hell out of nowhere as far as everyone else in that room is concerned.

 And remember, he's the head of their squad. So apart from Nina, everyone there is under the command of a guy who just went into an outburst about the past tense and bolted from the room.

 Yet later, they make no attempt to have him stripped of command. So really, they deserve what they get.

 After he dashes out of the waiting room, I'm kind of left with nothing to do. I decided to try and find the headmaster, as I thought that's what Zog wanted, but I couldn't. Everywhere interesting was blocked off and the only places I could go were these really grandiose looking classrooms and lecture theatres.

It makes Themis legal academy look understated and spartan.
 Eventually, with no idea of where to go or what to do, I headed back to the waiting room, and everyone except Quistis had gone. Part of me suspects that if I'd immediately entered the room, they'd have pulled an Aerith and have been gone even though there's no way they could have done so.

 She told me that there would be an announcement and that everyone would meet at the front gate.

 On my way there, I saw Zell doing push ups in a hallway, either because he was caught running and made to, or he just felt like joining in with a bunch of other guys who were being punished.

 I also ran into Raijin, Seifer's right hand man, who was here on a mission to give us another mission. We'll get to that later, trust me.

 We were quickly joined by Fujin, Seifer's left hand woman. Or right hand, depends on which side she's standing on, to be honest.

 There's a quick conversation that just cements my belief that Seifer should have been the main character, because these two are so invested in his friendship that they point blank refuse to belief that he's dead. I doubt anyone would bother to deny news of Squall's death should he be fake executed.

 Well, I can think of one person.


 He's genuinely the only person I can think of who would bother to do that. I don't even think Quistis would be in denial, and she actually has a misguided crush on the social leper.

(As a side note, I don't ship Seifer/Zog. I think Seifer could do better.)

 It's also worth noting how Fujin talks, which is sight to be seen because I don't think she can control the volume of her own voice.

A summary of her involvement in the conversation.
 It'd make sense, really, and it would be a nice change of pace for there to be a character that barely speaks because she's really loud rather than one who's really quiet.

 Those two run off and we're summoned to the front of the Garden, where we await a new mission.

 My favourite part of this whole scene is that Nina pretends to be a SeeD in order to make things easier. So she's constantly checking what the others are doing so she can copy them and blend in.

 It's really cute.

 However, during this they're given a mission to assassinate the Sorceress by the weirdly piratey head, as she and President Deling have plans to take over the world. Fundamentally.

 Um, wait.

 You can't give them a new job, their contract specifies that they work for Nina until Timber's independence. You can't back out of that just because it's convenient.

 She's their boss, so unless she consents to the job, you need to send someone else.

 And furthermore, why are you sending three freshly graduated SeeDs and a recently retired teacher to do this job? The Sorceress is incredibly dangerous, there was a war not too long ago specifically caused by her or her ilk.

 This is a job for experienced, professional SeeDs, not three child soldiers, someone who barely scrapes out of that category, and a random girl.

 Oh, but it's okay, because they have a professional sniper to go with them on this highly dangerous mission.

 Get ready, ladies and gents, he's a looker.

Irvine Kinneas
[SeeD Specialist Sniper]
 Apparently Nomura redesigned Irvine because he didn't want him to overshadow Zog by being too handsome, but I've got to question his eyesight, because Irvine still is better looking.

 A lot of the male characters are, let's face it.

 Have you seen Zog's character portrait? He looks awful in it.

 But enough about that.

 Irvine, the guy dressed as a cowboy, calls our gang rubes and says they need to split into two teams. He teams himself up with Nina and Selphie and leaves Zog with Quistis and Zell.

 Of course, I do not let this stand, as Selphie is my Red Mage buddy, and I need her on my team. So I swapped her out with Quistis, still leaving Irvine with two beautiful women to hang out with.

 Yet, for some reason he still had a problem with this.

 Dude, I gave you Quistis, the hot former teacher, learn to cope. At least I didn't give you Zell, the cutie with the short temper who may snap and break your pretty face.

 (Jk, jk. I don't think Zell would actually do that.)

 Although I get the feeling Irvine has a problem with older women, as he hits on both Selphie (who seems to fall for it) and Nina (who tells him to go away since she's mourning her 'it's complicated') but not Quistis while we're on the train to Deling city. Where the assassination is due to take place.

 It was weirdly nostalgic going back to Deling city, but at the same time, the place was chock-a-block with buses. My characters basically got hit by them multiple times.

 After some running around, I managed to make it to the place I'd been directed to. Only to be sent off to some tomb of some unknown king to find the ID number of the last guy to go there and presumably get his ass kicked.

 Well, I wasn't too pleased, but I dealt with it and started running around in the world map trying to find the place. While doing that I managed to find a secret base of some sort, which was kind of weird.

 I also ran into this:

 Which is one of my favourite monster designs from this game, although it is a total pain to fight. It looks kind of Ridley Scott's Alien-ish, and I like that.

 What I don't like is this fetch quest, but we'll get back to that in Part Fourteen and the beginning of Day Seven.

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