Saturday, 17 May 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Sixteen

 Part Fifteen


 Day Eight: It's A Fission, But Is It A Mailure?

 After giving Irvine an extra level, I headed back to Caraway's house.

 Here he drops a bombshell that just confuses the life out of Zog.

-sudden feminine gasp-
 After Zog has proverbially picked himself up after hearing this shocking piece of news, Caraway expands on what he's specifically referring to in this instance.

 Should the plan fail for any reason, such as the gateway team not being able to trap the Sorceress where the sniper can get a clean shot, the sniper team not being able to get up to the roof of the presidential palace, or the sniper missing his shot, the leader basically needs to go in all guns blazing to try and take out the Sorceress himself.

 This seems a little...

 Well, stupid.

 Caraway says she needs to be killed, regardless of the possibility of their identities being revealed.

 Okay, so you're okay with Zog throwing his life away, and potentially the lives of every person he knows (especially considering he was on an international broadcast and the Garden he came from was exposed) to kill her, but you apparently don't care enough to send more than five people on this mission?

 Also, the gateway team consists of three people. Three people are necessary to close a gate? But two people are perfectly capable of breaking their way into a presidential residence?

 If Barack Obama decided to hold a parade going around Washington DC in honour of David Blaine, and had it start from the White House, the White House would still be heavily guarded.

 Yet for some reason, the general is convinced that a parade is going to prevent a whole bunch of highly trained military personnel from doing their jobs. At all.

 Also, why is this responsibility solely on the shoulders of the squad leader? Shouldn't the gateway leader also be shouldering this responsibility? If the gate is closed as planned, but the sniper misses his shot, the gateway team is going to be a hell of a lot closer than the squad leader. They're in the triumphal arch, he's on a roof.

 Not to mention that this parade is going on a circuit of the entire freakishly small city!

 Why not have a whole bunch of assassins stationed around the city ready to take shots and make attempts during the whole parade?

 Young Bosnia managed it, and they were students! Proper students! Learning proper things!

 Not soldiers trained from childhood!

 Yes, they managed their goals pretty much entirely by accident, but they had more than one active attempt, and the fact that they did meant that when serendipity struck, Gavrilo Princip was there to take advantage of it.

 I just... how hard is it to come up with a halfway competent plan to assassinate someone?

 This plan is so slapdash, and so dependent on recently graduated SeeDs, that I'm genuinely wondering if this is some kind of double cross. That Caraway and Galbadia Garden want to direct the ire of Galbadia and the Sorceress onto Balamb Garden so they can carry on their own machinations in the background.

 Well, we'll see.

 So, let's get this train wreck under way.

(I love when these things become relevant again.)
 Zog's pegged as the squad leader (like there was any doubt) and he's put with Irvine. As squad leader he's responsible for choosing who is in charge of the three man band sent to press one button.

 Zell gets all pumped up as he's convinced he's going to get the job, but Zog doesn't choose him. He silently apologises and instead chooses Quistis.

 Which is the first clever thing he's done all game.

 Of course he'd pick Quistis, she's a child prodigy who became a SeeD at the age of fifteen and became proficient enough to be taken on as an instructor. She is the most experienced and most qualified Balamb SeeD there.

 Which begs the question, why isn't she the squad leader?!

 This just goes to my double cross theory, because what possible reason exists for a general to choose a week old SeeD over a genius with four years experience?

 Anyway, our new gateway team leader is left with her troops and instructions to be at the arch to close the gate at 20:00.

 Then Nina runs in with a completely different plan of her own.

How all military geniuses greet people.
 She found a bracelet in her father's room that she thinks can be used to stop the Sorceress. Only she doesn't call him her father, or by his name, or even his rank, as most people would when referring to a parent they do not see eye to eye with. She calls him 'that man'.

 I'm assuming this is another translation issue, as I see this kind of weird and stilted language a lot in manga, anime and Kamen Rider.

 The thing about Japanese is that it isn't an Indo-European language. It is set up on entirely different rules, so when you try to closely translate things into English, you get this weird stilted use of language. In Japanese, more than one concept can be used interchangeably, whereas in English those concepts are very distinct and have different words and connotations. (This does go both ways, though.)

 One prime example you see a lot in manga and anime is when a character talks about how 'humans are cruel creatures', or 'I don't like humans'. In Japanese this is fine as 'human' and 'people' are the same word, but in English this sounds ridiculous because the word 'human' is typically used clinically. The use of 'human' makes the speaker sound like they aren't human themselves.

 Here what's going on is that she's referring to her father as 'that man' to show how estranged they are. But unlike in Japanese, this doesn't make them sound as though they are estranged. It makes it sound like doesn't know him at all, which is clearly untrue, so it comes across as stilted and weird.

 The bracelet itself is apparently the product of a manufacturer called 'Odine', which assures its quality (according to Zell). It's supposed to suppress the Sorceress' powers, so as a potential solution it's worth considering.

 Considering and then discounting.

 As a plan it has many flaws.
  •  One, how do you get it on her?
  •  Two, how do you get near her to get it on her?
  •  Three, how do you stop her from taking it off?
 Quistis has many similar questions (although not to three, for some reason).

 She also doesn't take kindly to Nina rushing in and expecting them to suddenly change their plans for a piece of jewellery.

 As a result, Nina gets a bollocking about how silly she's being and how this isn't about her and her father.

A bollocking.
 Oh Quistis, you're so wise and clever. No wonder Zog picked you for this job.

 These three leave Nina to sit on her own and sulk while they inexplicably catch up with Zog and Irvine, who I had assumed would be long gone by now.

 We switch to controlling Zog and he leads Irvine to the arch, while they have a conversation about following orders and such. I think Zog may have gone on one of his ill informed rants in his head, but I've pretty much suppressed that memory. Reading his musings on life and death fills me with nothing but impotent rage.

 When they got under the arch, for some reason Zog had to talk to Deling to get Quistis and Co. to go into the arch to where the controls for the gate are so they can wait for the right time.

 Which will come in the next part, Day Eight: Quick Changes.

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