Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Twenty Two

 Part Twenty One


 Day Ten: What Goes Up, Must Come Down

 Much to my chagrin, it turned out that I hadn't saved after doing Laguna's patrol. So I had to do that again.

 However, I do have a couple of highlights that I intended to bring up last time I did it, but I forgot. So I guess this death was fortuitous.

 Here's Laguna's house, peppered with what look like bullet holes:

What the hell happened here?
Did Ellone's parents die by the hands of Al Capone?
 There's also this:

Then where are all the working women?
 Are they on holiday or something?
 This time, I took a detour and discovered a handy dandy draw point, as well as what looks like a horrific car accident.

 When in Dunhill, do take the time to go past the barriers, it's definitely worth a look.

 So, once again it's time to go through the cutscenes in the prison.

 This time I timed how long it took to regain control from the when Zell woke up to the when he goes to get the weapons.

 It took over eleven minutes of watching cutscenes and occasionally talking to other party members to finally regain proper control.

 As you can see, there's very much a reason that people mock Final Fantasy games for the length of the times you don't get to be in control.

 So this time I managed to remember to stick all the junctions back on Zell and he managed to beat everything that crossed his path up in a few turns. I'd say this is impressive, but Galbadian soldiers go down really easily.

 There is something that bothers me, though. One of the cat things (they're called Moombas, like the result of a Moomin assaulting a sheep) joins Zell on his mission, and yet seemed to have no impact whatsoever. It didn't fight, and it didn't offer out of battle healing like a partner in a Pokemon game.

 It really makes you wonder why it bothered coming with him.

 The weapons weren't even in a special room, like they were that one time in Chrono Trigger, they were just lying out in the open on the next floor up and were guarded by two distracted soldiers.

"It just looks like someone hot glued a blade to a revolver."
 They were pretty easy to take down, which I suppose is intentional, but ultimately unfulfilling. Especially since last time I tried this, Zell was taken down by a cohort of two soldiers and two freaky faced robots.

 Of course, to be fair, the reason for the Moomba joining Zell did become apparent. It appeared to want to kick the soldiers and guards that Zell beat up.

 Which is understandable, since the people in the prison do seem rather abusive, but still, it's hardly sportsman like.

 Once Zell has the weapons, the screen cuts to black and we're treated to an internal monologue.

 "... Don't hit my face." "...Stop grabbing my... leg." "Let me sleep..."

 And then:

 I was a bit surprised by this. It hardly seemed like the time for a Laguna flashback to happen.

 People were trying to escape from prison, for crying out loud.

 Well now I've just got questions.

 How do these things know Laguna? Why have they mistaken this misanthropic twit for him? And why do they even care?

 I don't think 'Ward' really covers things as an explanation. I won't wait with baited breath for a decent one, but I am going to patiently wait in hope that an explanation does materialise.

 The Moombas let Zog down while repeating 'Laguna!' to the point where it stopped being cute.

 This scene ends and finally, Quistis and Selphie get their weapons back.

 Get their weapons back and turn into giants!

 I don't know why!

 Was pulling an Ultraman really worth it just for some mild emphasis? Really?

 The Moomba even gets in on the act, even though it does pretty much nothing the entire time it's with the party.

 As though he's sensing self-congratulation, a nervous Mean Guy comes in with Biggs and Wedge. He's probably nervous because Zell punched him in the stomach earlier, but it might also be because he can forsee how badly this is going to end for his new companions.

 Biggs delares that they're going to teach Zell and Co. a lesson. But not just any lesson.

Just like a bad supply teacher.
 And he has no interest in playing fair, also much like a bad supply teacher, so he's very happy about the fact that these three were disarmed when they were dragged in here. Although he has attempted to justify himself, no good soldier just goes around killing unarmed people, even Galbadian ones.

 It's a shame the graphics are so bad, the look on his face must have been priceless when Selfie and Quistis pull out their weapons.

 So yeah, Biggs and Wedge go down really easily. More easily than last time, even.

 But not without Biggs blaming the group for his demotion, which totally is not their fault. They're not his commanding officers, and it's not their fault that he's really not that strong and insists on only having one other soldier with him when he gets into fights with mercenaries trained from childhood.

 He also seems to set off the alarms, alerting everyone on the prison to the escape. Which is both being a sore loser and doing his job properly.

 So I guess I can't be too annoyed or impressed by it.

 The alert itself is incredibly weird. Not only does it do the normal thing of raising awareness of the escape, and the harsh thing of giving permission to kill, but it also declares that they've released monsters on every floor and, and, they've disabled the anti-magic field. The living hell?

 How is releasing monsters going to help? Yeah, I guess they'll attack the escapees, but exactly is going to stop them from attacking the guards? Are they trained monsters? Because it doesn't even hint at that.

 Do you fancy explaining, game?


 Why am I not surprised?

 The lowering of the magic field also makes little sense.

 Yes, it allows the guards and soldiers to use magic, but it also allows the prisoners to do so too. There is, again, no hint that there's something to prevent the prisoners in the cells from using magic if they want to. They didn't do anything to remove the magic that Zell and Co. had on them.

 But I digress.

 The party goes up a few floors and the Moombas lead the way to where Zog is leaning on a wall.

 He's not so much happy to see them as just keen to get out of there as soon as possible. Which makes sense, he has just been tortured. Don't expect this kind of logical behaviour to last very long, though.

 Much to Zell and Co.'s disappointment, although not my surprise, Zog has no idea how to get out of the place. They do discern that he was brought to the top floor using the cell lifting arm (patent pending Aperture Science) and that they can use this to get down to the bottom floor.

 Zell volunteers that he knows how to get them down there because of his time as Ward. However, it requires two people to make the arm work, one in the arm itself and one in the control room at the top of the building.

 Unsurprisingly, Zell gets stuck at the top as the others get to go down to the bottom and try to find the way out.

 Once they were down there, I gave them the junctions and stuff because I assumed they need them, but you'll see that this was not my wisest idea.

 Y'see, the bottom of the prison is- actually, I'll just show you.

It just gets everywhere doesn't it?
 Turns out that the bottom of the prison is underground. So they came all the way down here for nothing.

 And to make things worse, Zell is currently under attack and gunfire.

 With no junctions.

 So when he got into a fight, it was needlessly difficult.

 These three decide to head back up to save him, because it apparently never occured to them that leaving one of their team at the top of a dangerous prison with guards, soldiers and monsters wandering around might put the guy in some danger.

 In fact, the danger is so great that he ends up with a gun to his head.

 Will he manage to make it out of this alive, or is the end of out spiky and chirpy friend?

 Find out next time in Part Twenty Three: The Mediocre Escape, same Zell post series, same Zell blog.

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