Thursday, 22 May 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Eighteen

 Part Seventeen


 Day Eight: Change You Can't Believe In

Welcome back to Final Fantasy VIII!
Come on, you shameless filthy wretches, it's time to listen to your Mistress.

 Jk, jk, I don't think you're wretches.

 Or Lowlifes.

 But I doubt you took kindly too it, which is begging the question of why the crowds in Deling city do when the Sorceress here just keeps insulting them.

 Not only that, she also just straight up tells them that it's going to be an era of distress and destruction.

 Who wrote her speech? Ayn Rand?

 It also bears mentioning that she says 'I will let you live a fantasy that is beyond your imagination', and yet this perfect opportunity for a title drop does not happen. 'It will be your final fantasy' would have been a great line to use here, as it's both in context and incredibly threatening. Such a wasted opportunity.

 Wait, what's she doing with the president?

 She... she killed him...


 The tyrant is dead!

 All hail our new leader!

 Hip hip hooray!

 I think this calls for a parade!

 Oh, but first the Sorceress wants to make a sacrifice.

 Yes, she's going to have the daughter of a high ranking general killed by magically animated statues.

 Seems a little extreme, but it makes clear that this new regime won't be held back by the trappings of the old one.

 Wait, no, she's evil.

 Sorry, my mind automatically makes me take the side of people who kill tyrants (unless they are the tyrant in question), so I'm a little perplexed why the evil sorceress is acting like a revolutionary leader of some kind.

 This is the kind of thing that happens in stories where you get a young and wide eyed revolutionary who want to change the world and then gets mildly traumatised when their revolution's leaders have to take all these horrible steps.

 But I digress.

 Irvine is disturbed by the idea of animated statues trying to eat Nina, so he tells Zog they should hurry and go help her. But Zog points out that they can't, because... no, I'll let him explain.

 Then how the hell did Nina manage it?!


 We return to Quistis and her hapless squad mates in Caraway's office, where they need to search for a way out so that they don't blow this whole operation because Quistis is a moron.

 I spent a depressingly long time in this room because I couldn't find the statue I needed to open the secret passageway. During this time I came to the conclusion that I really hated this colour scheme.

Salmon and seafoam? Ew.
 The puzzle itself is disgustingly simple. You see a painting of a woman holding a glass, and then you take a glass and put it into the hand of the statue of a woman. Only I couldn't find the statue, I wasn't even aware that it was there until I stumbled over it by accident.

 I'm not sure if this is me being an idiot, or bad game design. Although I'm erring on the side of the latter, a duck egg blue ceiling? With those walls and curtains? Really?

 I'm also wondering what the heck Caraway was thinking when he tried to lock Nina in this room. Three people who have spent ten minutes in it could figure out the 'secret' passage, I'm pretty sure someone who lived there her whole life could also work it out.

 From here, these three head into the sewers in order to try and get back to their post.

 I really like one of the monsters in the sewers, so I think I'll show it to you

Tee hee, so cute.
 It's called a creeps. I like how 2D it is.

 By the way, did I mention I was in sewers? Because I have to make my way through the sewers!

 The greatest part pf any video game!

 Yeah, I got lost repeatedly, and suffered much frustration because they wouldn't walk through the ankle deep water. Which looked completely clear and clean. This isn't XII, these sewers are way nicer and much shallower. They could probably just cross the water with little trouble. Not to mention that they could freeze it and walk across. They have ice magic, after all.

 So, after wandering around a bit, they stop and an FMV starts. It shows the beginning of the parade, and my rage at Quistis intensifies.

 The parade itself is pretty weird. There are these weird dancers in front of the Sorceress' float. I- I don't know what they're wearing, and I don't know why.

I just don't.
 The strange dancers aren't the only notable thing about the parade, Seifer makes an appearance.

See, I told you he wasn't dead.
 Weirdly, Zog makes no comment on the appearance of the guy he apparently liked, but who cut his face open, and whose reported demise made him go a bit crazy. At all. Yeah, he brings it up later, and we'll get to that, but no shot of him looking surprised or shocked as one would expect from someone who just found out that someone wasn't as dead as reported.

So since everybody is staring at the parade in complete fascinated confusion, Zog and Irvine can make their way into the presidential residence unimpeded.

 They climb up the side of the building, like Nina did, and make their way to rescue her.

 They find her being heavily menaced by the creatures and a fight ensues.

Unfortunately for me, the monsters had an ability to reflect magic attacks, and the way I set up the characters did not leave me with an advantage.

 See, I have three set ups: the Zog setup, which is resilient and fairly strong, which he shares with Quistis. The Selphie set up, which is all about magic, and she shares that with Irvine. And the Zell set up, which is the heavy physical hitter, and is shared with Nina. Since Nina was exhausted from being menaced, and Zell was in a sewer, this was a tougher fight than it should have been.

 Although, that said, it wasn't really that hard. More just lengthy and mildly annoying.

 There is one good thing though, if you draw from these things, you can get a new GF. It's called Carbuncle, and yes, I did just link you to what a carbuncle actually is. I hope you aren't eating when you click that.

 It's a funny thing to call such an adorable monster.

 So of course I changed its name.

 I named it after the Prince of Wales because of his famous quote from the eighties about modern buildings being a carbuncle.

 After that was done, Zog goes over to check on Nina, and manages to be incredibly useless while a woman is clinging to his arm repeatedly saying she was scared. If this was voice acted, I can guarantee she'd be on the edge of tears. Yet his internal monologue is still more important to him than going 'there there, they're gone now, we'll make sure you're safe'.

 Honestly, I find one of the things he thinks insulting. He assumes she's not really ready for all this stuff, when there is a genuine and legitimate reason for her to not have been able to deal with being attacked by animated statues.

 She was just brainwashed!

 I doubt even Auron could just bounce back from that, and he bounced back from being murdered.

 He does manage to tell her to stay close to him though.

 So far I'm not impressed by this romance, it seems to be built on a foundation of hypnotism and severe mental trauma.

 Oh, speaking of bouncing back, once they get up to the carousel clock, Zog finally mentions Seifer not being dead.

 It all seems a bit too... muted, to be honest.

 I get that him being with the Sorceress is concerning, but he's alive and shouldn't that create some other response than just 'oh, he's alive' and 'what does that mean?'. Did the writers just forget what reactions these two had to the news of his death in the first place?!

 Zog overreacted to high heaven and Nina thought she'd lost her 'it's complicated'.


 Besides being strangely calm about the whole thing, Zog tells Nina he may have to kill Seifer, and she asks if they're both prepared.

 She also says this.


 No, no he hasn't. If he had he wouldn't have run from the room shouting about refusing to let anyone speak about him in the past tense. You were there! You saw him do this!

 Speaking of not having emotional training, Zog goes to check on Irvine, who's been really quiet since they got up here.

 Apparently... he can't do it after all!

 I just double face palmed after writing that.

 I think this is further evidence to support the 'Galbadia Garden wants to screw over Balamb Garden by forcing Zog to expose himself to the Sorceress, no not like that you pervs' theory.

 On this not-really-a-bombshell, control is returned to the gateway team and the race is on to find their way out of the sewers and to their post.

 Which didn't happen. I made my way around the sewers, taking every route available to me, and then, at the end of it all...

Argh, so tacky! I can't look directly at it!



 We'll continue this in the next part. If I'm not lucky and a meteor crashes into my house in the meantime.

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