Friday, 16 May 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Fifteen

 Part Fourteen


 Day Eight: It's Impervious To Bullets, And Logic

 Wandering around the Unknown King's Tomb for three hours got Selphie and Zell up to level nineteen from twelve/thirteen.

 Which is actually a problem, as Quistis was my lowest level character and her level is all the way down at eleven. Nina and Irvine weren't far ahead.

 I decided to take the time to wander around the tomb to level Irvine up to sixteen, which was probably a good idea. I'm pretty much stuck with him for quite some time.

 I really should have levelled up Quistis and Nina too, and the reasons for this will soon become clear.

 Dragging Zog and Co. back to Deling City brings into sharp relief exactly how close the tomb is to the capital of a super power. Even scaling up the world map to the scale of the city (which is almost comically small by the way), it can't be more than a few hours on foot from one to the other and since we know this world has cars, questions are raised.

"Oh no! It's Goggalor's brother! Beltor!"
 Questions like: am I really supposed to believe that no one's successfully fought Bros. before?

 There are many reasons why getting rid of those two and clearing out the tomb would be desirable.

 For starters, think of the archaeologists who'd kill to get in there and have a look around, to unearth the secrets of who the unknown king was and what happened to net him such an impressive tomb and such an empty page in the history books.

 Then there's the tourism! Loads of people would travel to Deling City in order to visit the tomb. The economy would be improved and Galbadia would have an improved international image because of its long and (potentially) illustrious history.

 You may be thinking 'bah, they've probably not done this because Deling is an evil dictator', but you're wrong. The fact he's an evil dictator makes it more likely that he'd get the tomb sorted out, not less. Dictators love stuff like this because it makes them look good and feel powerful, so the fact that he hasn't is rather suspect.

 Don't make me talk about Saddam Hussein again, he's getting freakishly relevant to this series.

 But enough about that, traipsing back to Deling City gave me the opportunity to give the guard the ID number belonging to the sword by the entrance of the tomb.

 (By the way, I can only assume the student in question was done in by a flan or something, because that sword is nowhere near where either of Bros. were.)

 Even this was weird. The first time I tried to give him the ID number I put it in wrong because instead of being given the selections from left to right, I was given them from right to left. Small to big instead of big to small.

 So when I put in 59, the game read it as 95

 Yeah, you could call me out for not paying attention, but try to keep in mind that no other game I've ever played has expected me to put numbers in like that. Nothing I've ever done has expected me to put numbers in like that. Not unless remainders were involved.

 Anyway, back to the story. Now we've done the standard pointless fetch quest, we finally get to meet the mysterious General Caraway.

 Although, one does wonder, why is a Galbadian general involved in a scheme with two mercenary organisations to take down what is potentially the greatest asset to his country that the world has ever seen.

Damnit Zog, that's your reaction to everything.
Apparently SeeDs aren't supposed to question things, which I suppose makes sense. But again I feel the need to question what the hell Cid's ideals were when he set up his school for child soldiers who also apparently have had their critical thinking skills removed.

 The bad guys in Psychonauts have less creepy motivations, and they want to remove children's brains and use them to drive tanks.

 Speaking of questions, Nina asks Zog if her contract is still in effect. Which would have been a better question to ask when the head of Galbadia Garden was giving these guys a new mission than right before they're about to perform it.

 Zog pretty much says yes, but in his usual dickish fashion.

 I think the real question is, if she told them to go back to Timber right there and then, what on Earth would they do?

 Zog, Selphie and Zell are bound to Nina until the independence of Timber, so would they just abandon Quistis and Irvine and go back with her?

 You could argue that this is a moot point, but it isn't really. This is a direction the plot very well could have taken.


Dun Dun DUNN.
 Nina is his daughter.

 She does not like her father much.

 This much should be obvious from what we already know.

  In fact, what we already know leads us to the unfortunate conclusion that Nina has rebellious princess syndrome, and not a particularly well written case either.

 Now, to be fair, this may change. We may get a proper reason why she's at odds with her father. It's also worth mentioning that she was actually working for the benefit of other people, although in an incredibly childish and rather stupid fashion.

 Of course, this view isn't helped by the fact that, although Caraway is strict, at no point has he been unreasonable. In fact, we see no evidence that he's unreasonable at all.

Well, he's not wrong.
 Yes, he's a general in an army beholden to a dictator, but that doesn't necessarily make him evil and it definitely doesn't make him a bad father.

 So Nina, who has so far been a likeable character, albeit an immature and idealistic one, suddenly turns into a whiny brat with exactly no explanation for the sake of this conflict.

 This isn't well dealt with.

 Anyway, the plan.

 Caraway drags us out to the road outside of the triumphal arch (yeah, that's what those are called) and runs us through the plan. Which Zog does manage to pay attention to, despite being oddly hung up on learning the Sorceress' name.

 I do have to wonder why no one seems interested in why a high level military officer is wandering around Deling city at night, just before a parade, with five nubile teenagers. I guess they're all just assuming it's a weird sex thing.

 This particular section is a little bit funny, as he runs around showing Zog and Co. what they need to do and where they need to be.

Huh, colour coding. Like father like daughter, I guess.
 Although to be fair, he hasn't had a lot of time to plan this. So he couldn't exactly get a scale model of the area around the presidential residence and the triumphal arch in time to show the SeeDs.

 We also get an FMV of a carousel clock that emerges from the top of the presidential residence, and I think it looks stupid. It's literally like something you'd see at DisneyWorld/Land (delete as applicable), except unnecessarily futuristic.

 Honestly, playing VIII has made Kingdom Hearts make much more sense as a concept.

 After he's finished running through the plan, he tells Zog and Co. to meet him back at his house when they're ready to start the mission.

 Which they will be in the next post, Day Eight: It's a Fission, But Is It A Mailure?

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