Saturday, 19 July 2014

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

 Part Thirty Eight


 Day Sixteen: Won't Somebody Please Think Of The Children?

(Sorry this is kind of late guys. Had a busy day.)

 Now that Zell and Irvine have caught up with Zog, they tell him that Nina's in trouble and he's got to help her! Sorry, the panic of this situation made me get a little over excited.

No. Really.

 I'm worried about her.

 It's not like I've only played one game where a perilous situation like this needed to be dealt with under an actual time limit or anything.

 Zog is understandably upset by the news, but he doesn't really have time to reply as Nida makes an urgent announcement telling him that the classroom where the children are is under attack.

 And then, just to raise the stakes even higher, Xu brings attention to the fact that Galbadia Garden is heading right towards them.

 What does Zell think of all this?

-cue face palming-
 He doesn't care.

 Do you know who else doesn't care?


 When Zog points out that she's not the only one in danger, Irvine says 'Didn't think you were so heartless, Zog. Nina is gonna die! Don't you realize that!?'

 Yes, I did say that children were under attack, and yes, both Zell and Irvine don't seem to care.

 This isn't just a choice between their friend and the Garden, because it is that choice too and let's not forget that, but it's also a choice between a teenage girl who came here by choice and had multiple opportunities to back out that she didn't take and children who likely didn't have a choice in coming here and don't have opportunities to leave.

 I'm sorry, but the children come first. Nina is not more important than the lives of three children.

 Also, how exactly do you think that would go down with her?

 "Zog! You saved me!"

 "Yes, but I've got to go now. Hopefully the Galbadians didn't manage to kill all the underclassmen when I was saving you."

 "... I can't believe you abandoned them to save me. What is wrong with you?"

 Ah, yes, the way to a woman's heart is dooming several children to an early grave just so you can save her. You're one heck of a lady's man, Irvine.

 If you were on fire, I wouldn't piss on you to put you out.

 As a side note, I'm starting to wonder if Irvine's ever met Zog. The guy has been cold, uncaring, dismissive, out and out cruel and generally unpleasant to be around for most of the game. He is heartless.

 He may be improving, but that's a very recent phenomenon.

 Faced with this attitude, Zog has the choice of who he takes with him. I picked Selphie and Irvine for no particular reason.

 Now, after this decision was made, Zog sent Quistis with Xu, told the others he was heading to the classroom to help the innocent children and told Zell to go save Nina.

 Which... huh?

 They seem fine with this arrangement.

 Did Zell need Zog's permission to go save Nina? Dude, imagine all the time you'd have saved if you'd asked Xu where you could find some rope the second you'd shown up then gone to get the rope and then gone to save Nina.

 You're pretty speedy, you'd have been on your way to Nina in the time it took you and Irvine to emotionally blackmail Zog while he was worried about saving children.

 Speaking of, once Zell's run off to go save Nina (although one wonders what he thinks he's going to achieve, he was useless earlier) Nida calls to make it clear that those kids are in danger right now.

 Dashing up to the first floor classroom triggers a pretty cool FMV cutscene.

I always suspected that Justin Hammer hated children.
 They use these rocket powered flying mech suits to fly over to Balamb Garden, and then they basically just abandon them.

Because why use armoured mech suits when you can abseil?
 To be fair though, there's this awesome transition between this FMV cutscene and the battle following it.

 The dude here breaks through the window into the classroom, which is presented using the in game graphics, and it's a flawless transition considering the limitations of the system that it was released on. When it comes to the visuals, this game is rarely wrong.

 The fight it leads to is Zog, Selphie and Irvine fighting four members of the Galbadian chapter of Team Rocket.

"We'll get Pikachu this time!"
 They all went down in one hit from a GF.

 But we did actually get Exp. from this fight, which is rare for scripted fights in this game. They do love making you fight things and then not giving you any reward for it.

 The Exp. was probably allowed in this case because, as previously mentioned, these guys are pathetically easy to deal with.

 And once again I got sidetracked because the game gave me pretty much no direction on what I was suppose to do.

 See, what you're supposed to do is talk to the SeeD who was supervising the children (and cowering at the first sign of danger. She's successfully been in a war zone, guys. That's how you become a SeeD) and that triggers a cutscene. However I somehow didn't manage to talk to her, so I spent five minutes wandering around trying to find something to do and failing epically.

 Once I managed to talk to her, another FMV cutscene struck, this time it was of Galbadia Garden ramming Balamb Garden.

Hot Garden on Garden action.
 It does this with such force that it knocks people walking in the corridors of the Garden off their feet.

 Remember where Nina is?

 Yeah. She's dead.

 There's no way she'd be able to hang on after that, especially since she can't have been expecting it.

 Hardcore rock climbers who climb sheer cliffs with their bare hands would probably fall off after a jolt like that. Nina is not a hard core rock climber. She doesn't have the build for it.

 So, we saved the kids, but Zell didn't manage to save Nina.

 Well, no. Of course she's not dead.

 By all rights she should be, but she's not.

 So, while she's just hanging in there, Zog and Co. go up to the bridge where they run into Dr Kadowaki.

 She and Zog discuss the situation and it became clear to me that it didn't really matter what option I picked, they'd pretty much be in the same situation regardless.

 The Garden isn't in particularly good shape. The students are wounded and exhausted and can't hold off another wave of attacks.

 Then the conversation turns to Seifer being on Galbadia Garden, and Dr Kadowaki says this:

Oh really now?
 Destiny, huh?

 This isn't destiny, and I'll tell you why it isn't.

 If you and your colleagues at Balamb Garden had been doing your jobs properly, it would never have gotten this far. Seifer wouldn't have been allowed to stay in the programme, because he's clearly unstable, and you would have gotten the boy some fucking help for his issues.

 Because you weren't helping him, were you? You were basically letting the boy run wild until he did something outside of the Garden that you didn't like and only then was he punished.

 You didn't punish him for cutting open Zog's face. He clearly was never adequately disciplined for his bullying of Zell and Zog. He was put in a position of power over people it was well known that he was harassing. And I'm not just talking about the disciplinary committee, he was given command over those two in an active war zone.

 You people failed him and it led directly to this.

 This isn't destiny, this is your incompetence as a doctor shining through.

 And believe you me guys, it gets worse.

 But we'll cover that in Part Forty.

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