Saturday, 24 May 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Nineteen

 Part Eighteen


 Day Nine: It's Really About Timing

 I actually got out my phone to use the stop watch so I could time how long it took to get from Caraway's house to wherever it was I was supposed to be going. Which I assumed was the presidential residence, otherwise why would it have an entrance to the sewers in the first place?

 Turns out it took two minutes and I went straight to the gateway.

 Why a triumphal arch has an entrance to the sewers, I do not know, but it does.

 See, I thought it was going to take forever. I genuinely thought I'd taken a wrong turn somewhere and I'd have to go all the way around the maze like sewers again to find my way out. But no. Turns out that you have to go in a massive circle to push a ladder over which opens up a pathway to the exit you need, which happens to be two screens to the right.

 I hate it when they do this in video games, it just feels like busy work.

 Now Quistis and Co. are back where they're supposed to be, it hits eight and the time has come for the plan to go into motion.

 Quick question.

 What the hell was the point in making me battle my way back to the gateway from Caraway's house?!

 This had no impact on the plan whatsoever! The gateway team were exactly where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be there.

 I suppose I should be less angry at Quistis, but I'm more angry at the developers instead!

 Partially because of this:

 I know I've mentioned it before, but what the hell is this?

 It looks like something you can buy beer from at the German Christmas Market.

 Why is this on top of a world leader's house? Does he just really like clowns and rabbits, or something? Was his dad a clown and this is the best way he could think of to honour his memory?

 Why is this on the top of his house?

 I want answers, damnit.

 After Lady Gaga's back up dancers dance the Sorceress and Seifer into the triumphal arch, they're never heard from again as Quistis brings the gates down and traps the float in there.

 Focus cuts back to Zog as he has to talk Irvine into shooting at the Sorceress.

Then how did you get this job?
 Surprisingly, Zog is actually much nicer to Irvine than he was to Nina. Well, yeah, he's his usual dickish self, but once it becomes clear that he can't just bully him into taking the shot, he actually tailors his responses to Irvine and his issues.

 Irvine says he can't take the pressure, that the potantial weight of going down in history is too much for him and he just can't bring himself to shoot.

 So Zog takes the pressure off.

"Once you've alerted everyone to our location, we can get going"
 He is a bit of a dick about it, saying he doesn't care if Irvine misses, but that doesn't really matter. The important thing is that it's exactly what Irvine needed to hear. He's still vital to the plan, but the weight of the world is no longer solely on his shoulders.

 Honestly, this is why I don't buy the Zog/Nina romance. Every time he's vaguely nice to her just reads as part of this greater character development arc where he slowly becomes a better leader, as well as a better human being.

 Anyway, once he's been reassured that it's not all down to him, Irvine calms down and takes the shot.

 For a guy who was on the edge of a panic attack, he had excellent aim. He probably would have been able to kill her, if not for one thing.

 She can use magic.

 All the faffing about that Zog and Irvine did while she was in the archway just gave her the time she needed to realise what was going on and react to it.

 If he'd taken the shot just after the gates had come down, he would have had an actual chance to kill her.

 As it is, they have to fall back on plan B.

 So that's it.

 Balamb Garden is pretty much forfeit.

 Even if that wasn't Galbadia Garden's plan, it's still what's going to happen.

 Zog's been a SeeD for, what, a week? What possible hope does he have to defeat a Sorceress? Especially one who has just murdered a world leader and taken control of a global superpower?

 Even if he could kill her, there's still a chance that the Galbadians would attack Balamb Garden in retaliation as (and we've been over this) he's now easily identifiable as being from Balamb Garden.

 Yet, without any thought to any of this, Zog just goes charging in.

 He tells Nina and Irvine to be ready to back him off and he leaps off the carousel clock before jumping off the building.

No! Zog! You had so much to live for!
 Somehow, jumping off a roof and landing on hard concrete did not kill him, leaving him to scare some guards and innocent members of the masochistic crowd. He also steals a car.

 I'm... not sure how, or whose car this is.

It's surprisingly not hideous.
 I don't recall seeing this car before, it seems to have just appeared for the sake of narrative convenience.

 He drives the convenience mobile down to the triumphal arch and just slips though the bars of the gate.

 What a pointless gate.

 The only reason I can imagine for why Seifer and the Sorceress didn't just walk off, is that they think that walking is beneath them now. Because she can close that ridiculous thing on her back.

 Speaking of Seifer, Zog does have to go through him before he can take on the Sorceress.

 The two of them have some half hearted banter about Seifer's new position. Zog's apparently totally fine with calling a guy he apparently liked the 'Sorceress' lapdog', the lying git.

 Seifer, though, doesn't see it this way. He prefers to be called her 'knight', and apparently this was the romantic dream he was talking about all the way back in part two.

 His romantic dream was to be banged into the ground by an evil lady with a nautilus glued to the side of her head?

 Well, to each his own, I guess.

 So here it is, the epic battle between rivals.

 Zog versus Seifer.

 Dick versus douche.

 Truly this will be the face off of the century.

Nah, still don't ship it.
 And by that, of course I mean it's two skinny white boys standing eight feet apart and occasionally hitting each other with their stupid gunblades.

 This doesn't look cool, and it isn't particularly climactic.

 For a good exaple of how to do this kind of thing, I'm going to refer you back to Breath of Fire II, which has a fight between two mercenaries where one was believed to be dead and there's bad blood there.

They're also monkeys, and everything is better with monkeys.
 The guy on the left, Turvoe, breaks the bridge they're standing on and challenges Sten to defeat him before they finish falling. Which is three turns.

 This isn't a super hard fight, but it is pretty dramatic, which is something that the fight between Zog and Seifer just doesn't do.

 They just kind of... stand there.

 Even the banter is boring. It's just Seifer saying things at Zog until he loses.

 Hopefully things will get more epic in the next part, where Zog and Co. finally take on the Sorceress.

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