Thursday, 28 August 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Fifty Three

 Part Fifty Two


 Day Twenty One: Not Gonna Lie, Got A Little Salty

 I'm starting to wonder if archaeology just isn't an academic discipline in this world.

 To start with, there's that tomb of the Unknown King that appears to have been totally unstudied. Then there's the Centra Ruins.

 This one's more palaeontology than archaeology, but there are an awful lot of large skeletal remains that would surely be of some scientific interest strewn all over the salt flats.

 Where are the academics?

 Is mad science really the only academic discipline in this world?

 To be fair, the salt plains are quite stuning, and I really do like the way they're strewn with the bones of mega fauna.

 On the other hand, once the party enters the salt plains, Selphie says this:

Not gonna lie, initially thought this was snow.
 I'm not sure why she'd think it would be right at the end of the railway line. This is totally uncharted territory for these guys.

 I do have to credit the game for having some nice interaction between Edea and the party members. You can really see the affection there during this section. Zell is confident that everything will be fine because they're all together, and Selphie seconds this sentiment by predicting the trip through the salt flats will be fun. Edea is also willing to sacrifice herself for the good of the party, and the world, should Ultimecia 'gets inside her again' (teehee).

 It's a nice little moment.

 Would have had more impact if it had happened before all the tugging-at-your-heart-strings, we-need-to-fight-our-mum stuff.

 For some reason, this little bit ends with this from Zog:

"They said something about noseless wizards, I didn't understand."
  Has he been reading The Secret or something?

 It's a little gratifying to hear him refer to it as a 'silly superstition', but let's not forget that he's not really the 'correct' moral viewpoint of this game.

 They head out onto the salt flats, and we can take in some more of the stunning (if what somewhat outdated) scenery.

This would look so good in HD.
 Journeying through the salt flats results in a surprise boss battle.

 It's kind of random, but there is something about the name.

 Abaddon is referred to as both an angel and a place of destruction in the Bible. Concidering the strange appearences of the angels described in the Bible, a creature of this sort isn't far from those descriptions, as like many of the angels described, it is a chimera.

 It's also fitting because this is a place of death and the place Abaddon is said to be near the bottomless pit and land of the dead Sheol in Jewish lore. (Sheol is more or less hell. Jewish hell is less firey and torturey than the Christian and Islamic versions. It's more sorrowful, you don't need to be tortured because you're seperated from God.)

 Interestingly enough, this specific spelling of Abaddon comports very well with the Slovene spelling. So this is either some kind of translation error (Safer Sephiroth? Fear the wrath of Berial? Anyone?) or they did it on purpose. It's a little harder to tell in this specific instance because there is a Slovene novel with this spelling.

 Although I'm not going to lie, I'm erring on the side of transliteration error because I've seen much worse in my time.

 Safer Sephiroth, really.

 So, after this battle, they venture further into the Great Salt Lakeuntil they come across this cliff with nowhere to go that they can see and the only feature of interest is an occasional bit of static.

 Wait, what?

 And a hole appears in the middle.

Captain Obvious is a position of pride amongst his people.
 Since they have no other clues as to what they're supposed to be doing, they decide to go inside.

 Fantastic military tactics, absolutely brilliant.

 I know you're desperate, but come on guys. Use a braincell!

 You must have one between you.

 Through the hole and across a strange bridge and the gang end up on this futuristic platform thing that begins to move.

Well, at least his eyes and inner ear work.
 Zog goes onto one of his weird internal monologues, and this actually supports the dickishness as Zog's actual personality. Single minded, selfish and kind of thick.

 Eventually it spits them out onto another platform, and they are taken into the futuristic city of Esthar.

Damn, that's pretty.
 This cutscene is impressive and gorgeous.

 There's one problem.

 The platform they're on zips through the city at high speed and there doesn't appear to be anything actually keeping them on it. If this was really happening, at least one of them would have fallen off.

 My money would be on Edea and Zog, I don't think the gloves those two wear would provide much purchase.

 Once they get off the magical mystery deathtrap, Zell and Zog immediately pass out.

 Damnit, Ellone, do you have no concept of timing? You can't just knock people out and throw them back into the past just because you feel like it! They have stuff on, lives of their own, the right to bodily autonomy.

 You make Vriska loo- okay, no, you don't make Vriska look restrained. She's actually homicidal and kind of insane, but she'd probably say you've made a good start and that's not a good thing!

 This time, I'm given the option to assign the set ups of characters I have in my party to Laguna, Kiros and Ward.

 One problem.

 As you've doubtlessly noticed, I had Edea with me when the flashback started, and I gave her Selphie's setup. You aren't allowed to give Edea's set up to Kiros or Ward. I guess that makes sense plot wise, but it's beyond infuriating from a gameplay standpoint.

 So, what are the three amigos up to?

 Well, somehow, Kiros and Laguna found Ward and got him to join back up with their squad again, and then they somehow managed to get into Esthar. Or, at least, close enough to get to Esthar territory to be captured.

 Now they're being used as forced labour along with some other prisoners and the moombas from earlier.

 Laguna is seperated from Kiros and Ward, who are sent to work on something called the Lunatic Pandora. Using contextual clues, I'm guessing that has something to do with the moon and possibly the abstract concept of hope. That, or monsters.

 To be honest, not a lot really happens during this part.

 There's some forced labour, a moomba is mistreated, Laguna stands up for it, makes it baseless promises and thinks he's killed it when he hasn't.

 Basically, he's a big hearted moron, and this apparently makes him a suitable candidate for being the leader of the Esthar resistance movement seeking to overthrow the Sorceress Adel.

 Wait... big hearted moron, outsider, inexplicably the leader of a resistance movement... wears blue... where have I heard that before?

 If I didn't know any better, I'd suspect Laguna was Nina's dad.

 Thankfully, something happens when Kiros and Ward beat up some guards off screen and come on in to pick Laguna up.

 As well as having to deal with only having two character's worth of magic to spread among three people, I also had to deal with the fact that Kiros and Ward were stripped of all their junctions.

 I don't understand why they'd give me these options if they're just going to undo it anyway.

 I was frankly surprised I managed to win the following battle, since Ward was knocked out and Laguna temporarily removed from existence.


 After that fight, getting out of there was a pretty simple task.

 There's more talk about Laguna heading the resistance, and we learn that Dr Odine currently has Ellone.

 Well, bum.

 We'll have to do something about that next time, in Part Fifty Four!

No comments:

Post a Comment