Thursday, 24 July 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Forty One

 Part Forty


 Day Sixteen: Hey Boy, Let Me Slide On Over

 It's time to attack Galbadia Garden and take the fight to Seifer.

 Nida does as he's commanded, although more by Dr 'I'm terrible at my job' Kadowaki's command than Zog's. He doesn't actually tell Nida to do it himself. He's not even really commanding the Garden.

 Grow a spine, Zog.

 We get more hot Garden on Garden action as Balamb Garden bashes into Galbadia Garden in another pretty FMV cutscene.

I kind of like this too clean and a bit plastic-y aesthetic.
I'm not even joking, I find it quite appealing.
 Now that Balamb Garden's on top, it allows the people in Balamb to spew out of the Garden's front entrance and spread over the rear outdoor areas of Galbadia Garden.

 While they do this they all have mental battle cries.

It's not difficult to work out who's is whose.
 Y'know, as a side note, Irvine's 'you're my main concern' interest in Selphie seems to have come right out of nowhere. Prior to the orphanage section, he didn't really seem to be more interested in her than he was in any of the other female characters. Not to mention how lecherous he was to her the entire time prior to that. There was very little romancing.

 Which is extra gross, considering the growing up together thing was used to end Quistis and Selphie's roles as potential love interests for Zog by casting them as sisterly figures. So why should we view this as any different to that? Irvine's giving me some serious incest squick right now.

 By the way, note the angle of the main entrance of Balamb right there.

 Noted? Good.

 So, now that the charge on Galbadia Garden has started, what is there for Zog to do?

 The game spits you out on the first floor, as if the lift doesn't go straight to the ground floor, and a female student emotionally blackmails Zog into going after one of the children. Which is fair enough. If you're going to emotionally blackmail someone, this is one of the acceptable reasons to do so. A category that also includes obtaining ice cream.

 So he goes and finds the child, helps the child up and sends him off to safety.

 Then this happens.

Hey, you should be abseiling.
 This arsehole just bashes in from the observation deck and starts this completely out of place fight sequence with a mechanic you've never used before.

 Initially it's this section where you need to press the action button and pick a choice. If you pick the wrong options, you lose health. By which I mean that bar in the bottom corner, which has pretty much no connection to how much health Zog actually has.

 It is really easy to fail this section, and I did multiple times.

 If you do, you get the option to start again and to start again with more health. So it's nice that you don't get a game over for this random mechanic that you've never seen before. They also give you a hint.

I didn't use this. The bastard blocked more times than he attacked.
 That's for the fighty bit. Before that you need to take these steps:
  •  Examine the door
  •  Choose 'look around for another option'
  •  Examine it again
  •  Choose 'press the button for emergency exit'
 So, basically the entire reason for this door to be there was this one fight in the middle of the game.

 Which is mildly annoying. I've been trying to open that door for hours.

 Once all these steps are complete, the door will fly off and an inflatable slide will come out like they do on aeroplanes. I'm... not totally sure why.

 True, there don't appear to be stairs in this part of Balamb Garden, but an inflatable slide doesn't seem like a viable alternative as a fire exit. This thing would be deployed by the students constantly if they knew it was there. It's a bouncy slide.

 Unless this is there entirely because it can fly. Which means either that this is the first time it's been used in twenty years, or that the engineers in Fisherman's Horizon happened to have giant inflatable slides hanging around.

 Frankly, I'm not sure which I find more ridiculous. An inflatable slide working perfectly after years of neglect, or engineers randomly having giant bouncy slides when there are only about three things that use them and none of them have flown for two decades.

 After the magical bouncy slide has been deployed, Zog is left hanging off the mech suit while engaged in desperate hand to hand combat with the pilot.

 It's basically rock, paper, scissors. Just punch him a lot and make sure to kick him when he blocks. You'll get it eventually.

 Once you've managed to doom him to fall to his death, Zog somehow manages to get the mech to fly over to where Nina has been hanging for the last forty minutes.

 Okay, okay, that's just an estimate, but it's been at least half an hour. That much I'm sure of.

 Also, remember when I told you to take note of the angle of the entrance of Balamb Garden?

How are you driving that, Zog?
 Observe how suspiciously straight this part of the Garden is. It's almost like there's no continuity between scenes.

 These two then fly over the lawns of Galbadia Garden where a fierce battle between a bunch of underpaid victims of verbal abuse and some child soldiers is being waged. They land and run past this vicious fighting to reach Galbadia Garden's back entrance.

 Then they just stop and hang out for a bit.

 I'm not sure what angers me more, that they're just standing there while exhausted teenagers battle for their lives and Cid's distorted idea of 'destiny', or the fact that after she's been hanging off a cliff for forty minutes Nina doesn't even rub her arms.

 Hanging off things for long periods of time is incredibly difficult and it hurts. I'm failing to suspend my disbelief for her even surviving that, but that she did it with apparent ease?

 That's not just insulting my intelligence, it's beating it to the ground and kicking it half to death.

 So, what was so pressing that they needed to stop and have a chat about it?

 Zog's ring.

 Remember? The invisible ring?

As not pictured here.
 Thankfully, there is a moment that provides some respite to the 'this isn't a romance, there is no romance here' train.

 After Nina thanks Zog for saving her, he gets all bashful and says this.

 Then he immediately ruins it by saying that they're still under contract (which they are) and that he just happened to find her (which is true).

 And then they start talking about the ring.

 Apparently Nina's ability to hang onto a cliff for nearly three quarters of an hour was entirely motivated by her desire to give Zog his ring back. She tells Zog that Zell's the one who gave it to her, and unsurprisingly he's annoyed. Woo! Human emotion!

 She then asks what the monster on it it, and Zog replies by saying that it's not a monster, it's a lion.

 Quick question.

 What's the difference?

 You live in a world where monsters who randomly attack people exist, how exactly does a large predatory cat not fall into the same definition?

 Are monsters not natural fauna in your world?

 If not, how do you know that? Also, this would literally be the first time that there has been any indication at all that this was the case.

 Zog adds that it represents various positive traits and Nina says this in response:

Pfffft hahahbwahahahaha!
 Zog has no pride. If he had pride he wouldn't have allowed himself to get strong armed into dancing with you, let alone the rest of the plot.

 This is so ridiculous that even Zog disagrees with her. He turns down the flattery of a pretty girl because he doesn't believe it.

 Nina, being a good person and not an entitled cow, doesn't push this and instead asks if the lion on Zog's ring has a name.

 Canonically, it's called Griever. Which is a silly name, so I decided to go with something better.

If you don't get this, I can't help you.
 The conversation then turns to Zell's promise to make Nina her own version and Nina's interest in Zog.

 And boy does Zog seem uncomfortable. Not with her interest so much, but with the way that everyone is trying to set them up. Which I have to agree with, it went well past unbelievably creepy some time ago.

 Although, the way Nina apparently wants other people to think they're together is getting pretty damn creepy too.

 Thankfully, this section ends and they head into Galbadia Garden's school building where the others are waiting.

 Here they have a very short conversation about the Sorceress, which is notable for this piece of dialogue from Zog.

 Yes! Forget about the past that you do not remember!

 Okay, after this point I saved and did a couple of things. However, since this post is getting really long and I got punked out by a monster before I could get to any more plot stuff, I'm actually going to cover that small section during Day Seventeen's first post. Part of it is amazing and ridiculous and I love it.

 So, there's something to look forward to.

 See you during Part Forty Two!

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