Day Seventeen: Those Fine Lookin' Lads (Warning: Does Not Include Squall Leonhart)
In the grand tradition of RPGs throughout the generations, it is required that Zog and Co. run around Galbadia Garden and grab keys so they can open various doors.
(As an aside, you are not required to bring Irvine with you for this section at all. Thus making his 'I know this place like the back of my hand' completely and totally pointless.)
I actually thought that this was an optional side quest when I started doing it, so I was mildly disappointed when it turned out to be part of the main game.
Okay, this is basically what you need to do, there's a guy one floor up from the floor you came in on and he'll give you a card key for a door on the ground floor. Go through this door and you'll end up in the school's ice rink.
I am not sure why this Garden has an ice rink, but the confusion at that pales in comparison to the confusion I felt when I ran into these guys.
So one can presume that when they're not on the ice they hang around bars and wear short skirts with fishnets and too much red lipstick while attempting to get laid.
You're probably wondering what the hell this thing is.
Well, according to the game it is 'A member of Galbadia Garden's demi-human ice-hockey club' and it 'Attacks with speed and teamwork'.
The teamwork bit comes in because you fight them three at a time.
Yes, that is a teddy bear on his... jersey? Sorry, ice hockey is overshadowed by football in my country, along with virtually every other winter sport.
No, I'm not sure why there are half human hockey players in Galbadia Garden's hockey club. I don't think this is a thing anyone mentioned the last time I was here. There weren't any monsters practicing on the ice, just one girl having a skate around the rink.
Which is impressive, as the rink has no ice physics programmed into it.
On the one hand, I can see why. Ice physics can be annoying, and it's such a small area what would be the point?
But on the other hand, why bother having an ice rink then?
Did they put it in just for the Slappers?
Also, I can presume that there wasn't a British person on the localisation team to stop them from calling these monsters that. It's not a fitting name literally or colloquially.
On the plus side, though, there is a draw point here for Protect. Which is pretty handy.
Once through here you go to a classroom on the other side where you get another key. This one allows you to open a door all the way up the stairs.
By the way, I feel the need to bring up how much better looking than Zog the two male students in this Garden are than Zog.
This is actually a fairly flattering picture of Zog. Hang on, let me find another one.
Nomura wanted Zog to be the most attractive male character in Final Fantasy VIII, which probably explains why Irvine is so awful, which is hilarious because just look at how bad his in-game character model in.
He looks fine in the FMV cutscenes, but in game he's got this weird lopsided, chubby, Vulcan face. The two NPCs pictured above look much better than he does.
To be fair, Zell looks pretty weird too, but he's not meant to be the most attractive male character in the game.
I don't know why this is. Nina and the other girls look fine and Irvine looks okay. Laguna, Kiros and Ward look fine too. So I don't know why it's just Zog and Zell.
Speaking of better looking male characters...
While on the hunt for the student that had the first key, Zog and Co. run into Fuujin and Raijin.
Raijin is a fine looking lad, especially if you like big muscly fellows.
Anyway, enough objectifying the male characters, these two have stuff to say.
Basically it boils down to how they're scared for Seifer and that they really don't know how to deal with him any more.
Which is nice, I mean, he's basically losing his friends because of this weird obsession he has with being the Sorceress' knight. I would have liked more time spent on this.
Just as I would have liked more time spent on Zog's contrasting character development of gaining friends. But no, we get 'we were famiwy all along!'.
For a game which is apparently based entirely around a romance, this game doesn't half skimp on the development of relationships.
In a way, this adds to that.
Fuujin and Raijin ask Zog and Co. to try and stop Seifer.
I would have preferred that they have a big argument with him about this on screen. To try and talk him out of it before they're forced to turn their backs on him and ask Zog and Co. if they could try and knock some sense into him, please.
This may be coming later on, but I doubt it. The way they talk about him is quite final in this section.
It would be a much more dramatic end to this arc, not to mention that we've not really seen these three interact as a unit since the very beginning of the game. Also, it would be really nice if Fuujin spoke in full sentences for a change.
Remember, the theory is that she cannot control the volume of her voice and has some kind of anger management problem. So the perfect time for her to talk in more than single word sentences would be in a situation where she's really angry and desperate.
I'm not going to lie, she's surprisingly well characterised for some who barely speaks, but I would like to see her talk in a manner more like the other characters at least for one scene.
As a side note, it's really funny that Zog clearly thinks he's a man of few words when Fuujin is around and has maybe twenty words of dialogue up to this point in the game. She also doesn't use ellipses like he does. When she's not talking, she's not using dialogue boxes, like an inexpressive character actually would.
Fuujin is what Zog thinks he is, and it would have been really nice to see this idea expanded upon.
Fuujin is great, this game needs more Fuujin.
Raijin can come too.
OTP, man, OTP.
Up the stairs and past these two there's another door that can be opened now that Zog has spoken to both the male students.
This is when I got punked out by a monster.The monster in question was this thing:
|This is a less ridiculous name than 'Slapper', but it's|
You're probably better off running away from it, but if you want to fight it, hit it with fire. It should go down pretty fast.
So, after going through all that for a second time, I finally got through that door and out on the other side to a basketball court.
Totally worth the effort.
We'll see what's on the other side tomorrow, in Part Forty Three!