Friday, 11 July 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Thirty Five

 Part Thirty Four


 Day Fifteen: I Knew You Were Trabia When You Walked In

 This time I managed to both draw from Fujin and defeat the pair in combat. So I'm the proud owner of the Guardian Force Pandemona.

Looking good there, buddy.
 Okay, so for the five of you that haven't read Paradise Lost, allow me to explain what this thing is named after.

 Pandemona is probably derived from Pandemonium, the capital of Hell in the John Milton poem. It's also the name of the capital of Hell in the Discworld, which is really where I know it from because I haven't read Paradise Lost, unlike you fine people.

 So, since it's a city of the damned, and I'm from Birmingham, I decided to name this fine lady Coventry.

 Hah, West Midlands humour.

 So, what are Fujin and Raijin doing there?

 Well, unsurprisingly, they're not really working for the sorceress. Their entire purpose for working for her and the Galbadian army is to stand up for their friend Seifer.

 It's almost depressing how loyal they are to Seifer. Not because he doesn't deserve it, he's loyal and stands up for what he believes in in his own way, but because of what's coming later.

 They're also the only people who are really listening to him on his own merits, as the Galbadian soldiers are only following his orders because the Sorceress told them to.

 Which makes sense, he's a teenager, a student, a foreigner and too pretty for his own good. The whiny members of the Galbadian military aren't really going to give the guy any respect.

 Zell demands that Fujin and Raijin tell Seifer to knock it the hell off.

 Which is a reasonable enough thing to demand that they do. They are his friends, after all, and that leaves them in the unique position of of having influence over a teenage boy who clearly has issues.

 But they refuse, they're for Seifer, no matter what he decides to do.

 What happened? Why are these two so loyal?

 Did anything happen at all? Or is this just the result of a natural friendship between three broken individuals in a harsh world?

 I think I'd prefer option two, because friendship is valuable in and of itself.

 Love doesn't have to be romantic or familial to have value.

 But I'm getting off topic.

 Zog warns these two that they're not going to go easy on them from now on and they run off.

 But not before I really have to question myself for my desire to ship Fujin and Raijin.

 She kicks him.

Jesus, lady, calm down.
 This is the second time she's kicked him in this section. She's so violent!

 And it's bothersome, because he so obviously adores her.

 Man, someone needs to write AU fic where she's getting anger management therapy so my ship can sail without guilt. (You best tell me if you know of any, or I will be annoyed with you.)

 Then Zog does what he does worst and waxes lyrical about the nature of their upbringing and how having old acquaintances as enemies is just a consequence of their lifestyle. Then of course, he thinks about why he doesn't really feel that way even though he knows he should.

 Just as I was starting to like you, too, Zog

 So now what? We've freed Balamb from the menace of two students from the local educational establishment (there's a joke about Public schools in there somewhere), so where do we go next and what do we do?

 Well, my friend, we're given a request by Nine Over Five favourite, Selphie.

Don't be so reserved, he's your bestie. Just demand it.
  It takes Zog a few moments to work out why she wants to go to her home that's recently been hit by missiles. Gee Zog, maybe she wants to go back to pick flowers.


 Anyway, so, what do I do once my favourite character asks to go to her home?

 Faff about for about two hours.

 No, I'm really not kidding. I just took Balamb Garden out and about trying to find stuff to do and places to go. I didn't have too much luck.

 This game does have a handful of side quests, however, with the help of my friend Doug, I learned that you can't do most of them until you have the airship proper.

 See, Balamb Garden will float above land, but will immediately sink into the sea.


 I really could not tell you. I suppose it makes sense from a game play perspective, Final Fantasy games do like to give you the ability to sail the seas before you can fly the skies. But from a logical perspective, it really doesn't make much sense at all.

 If you're going to make a building that can fly, why not make it able to fly properly?

 If you're going to make a building that's primary purpose is to sail, why not put it in the sea? Or right on the coast?

 'Cause Balamb Garden is not right on the coast, and neither is Galbadia Garden. Which is what that other flying building is.

 Seriously, how did Cid manage to bag at least two flying buildings without doing it on purpose? And who the hell built these and what for?

 I hope answers will become apparent at some point.

 So, what else did I do while I should have been heading to Trabia Garden?

 Well, I went to Cactaur island, and couldn't get on it to capture the magical cactus that kept disappearing and reappearing. This is where the airship proper comes in.

 I went to Timber in an attempt to find something to do, and I only managed to do one thing.

 I saved the life of a young girl who was stupid enough to play on the railway tracks, just like Network Rail keeps reminding us not to do.

 This appears to have had the unintended side effect of making her fall in love with Zog and dumping her boyfriend. He's very sad when you talk to him afterwards.

I'd guess you just couldn't compete with Zog's raw masculinity,
 but I've seen him. So you're probably right.
 I also learned that the abusive leader of the Timber Foxes adopted her kids, and that the TV station is now guarded by a serious man who makes jokes about his own weight in a deadpan fashion.

 I also attempted to trigger the Obel Lake sidequest, but you need the airship for that to even be triggered.


 After that string of failures, I decided to go to Trabia like I was supposed to in the first place.

 Unsurprisingly, it was actually hit by the missiles, but surprisingly by more than I'd thought. The world map model makes it look remarkably intact for a place that's just been hit by a bunch of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

 However, on the inside it's an absolute mess.

 The group literally has to climb inside.

 Once in there, Selphie runs off ahead, and for some reason, the three I didn't bring with me seemed surprised that she'd do so. Seriously, guys?

 A screen or two in, and we find her friend, who Selphie wants to catch up with.

 She tells Zog and Co. to meet her at the basketball court in the back later, and I take this opportunity to have a quick explore.

And I found this:

Oh wow, someone else with Zog's awful fashion
 sense died. What a tragedy.
 Is this really meant to be depressing? Because a cobbled together graveyard mostly filled with dead teenagers really should be.

 It isn't though.

 You cannot interact with any of these and no one mentions them. Not Zog, not Nina, not the Trabia students, not the lone teacher, and not even Selphie. They remain totally unacknowledged throughout this whole section.

 There are, however, a couple of injured looking guys, and an unexploded missile in the screens in the opposite direction from this.

 Apparently that missile isn't going to explode, which I find weird. But then again, I'm English, and we still find unexploded bombs that are a potential risk occasionally here.

 Once Zog and Nina head over to the basketball court, a section I like to call 'Irvine refuses to shut the hell up' begins.

 So look forward to that tomorrow in Part Thirty Six. I know I don't.

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