Saturday, 30 August 2014

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

 Part Fifty Three


 Day Twenty Two: Umbrella, Ellone, Hey, Hey, Hey

 Since Odine has Ellone, Laguna and Co. head back into the lab in order to find him.

 In order to facilitate the chasing of the elderly mad scientist, I decided to use the Magic Booster.

 "The what?" you may ask. If you have this on a console.


 Magic Booster is an option that allows you to get one hundred each of certain spells.

 Some may consider it cheating, and I'm one of them. The thing is, the way I see it, if the game is going to cheat, why shouldn't I?

 So all powered up with my ill gotten spells, I get Laguna and Co. to head after Odine.

 The main office section of the laboratory does contain an interesting item that will be handy to completionists and tacticians alike, namely the first edition of Weapons Monthly.

 It contains weapon upgrade reccipes for Zog, Nina, Irvine and Selphie; the Lionheart, Shooting Star, Exeter and Strange Vision respectively. They all require rare items to create.

Apparently screws count as rare metals these days.

 Unfortunately Odine isn't in this room, so it's down the elevator and back to the room where Laguna nearly killed a moomba.

 And- good god, what is that man wearing?

He looks like a clown.

  He looks like he got into a fight with a beach umbrella and barely won.

  Laguna demands to know where Ellone is, and the shouting attracts some guards. They tell Laguna nd Co. that they're idiots for coming back and attack them, presumably because this is a dictatorship, but there's also probably an element of 'you guys are too stupid to live' as well.

 During this fight I lost Laguna again. You could argue through mismanagement, but my case is that enemies using Death are evil and should be locked up so that they can't disturb innocent gamers like me who only want to overthrow their cities and fundamentally change their way of life.

 Who's with me?

 I nearly lost Ward too, but that really was mismanagement. I let his health get down waaaay to low, but it did come with a positive side effect.

 We get to see his limit break.

 It's called 'Massive Anchor' and it looks like this:

 He just kind of chucks his anchor into the air, leaps after it and stands on it as it smashes into the enemy.

 I'm calling foul though, because at no point was that anchor particularly large. It doesn't change size and, let's face it, that's a pretty small anchor. I see larger ones by accident when I go to the seaside.

 (This is what life is like when you live in a country with a strong maritime history. There's a statue of Nelson at the Bullring. I live in Birmingham. We're nowhere near the sea!)

 Odine denies knowing where Ellone is, only to retract that statement pretty much immediately. Then, for some reason I am completely incapable of understanding, Laguna and Co. just stand there and watch Odine run past them into the lift. They follow him into the lift and ride up to the entrance.

 And, again for a reason I cannot fathom, they didn't grab him in the lift. Allowing him to run out of the building.

 To make things worse, this isn't one of those lifts where you go in one side on one floor and out of a different side on another floor. It has one door, and only one, so they would have had to shimmy around so he could get to the door.

 This is not a large lift, so unless he was covered in margerine, there is no reason for them not being able to catch him.

 I'm frankly insulted by how this just flies in the face of common sense.

 Once he's scuttled out of the building, the three healthy men in their prime finally catch him just outside a car.

 Laguna, you probably could have caught him earlier if you hadn't literally stopped to shout at him. You're not a lizard, you can run and breathe at the same time.

 Odine tells Laguna where Ellone is once he's caught, telling him she's at [O Lab]. Which I originally misread as 'Zero Lab', but is actually just short for 'Odine's Laboratory'. I'm not sure what the point of having Odine's assistant clarify was, he could have just said 'my lab', which would have been quicker and more to the point.

 The assistant does give instructions on how to get there, which are amazingly vague.

What the living hell does any of that mean?
 Laguna doesn't get it either, and hands the responsibility of driving over to Kiros. So from this I can surmise that Kiros is their navigator, and also psychic.

 We cut to the inside of Odine's lab, presumably missing Kiros having to stop several times in order to ask for directions while trying and failing to interpret the assistant's directions, and Laguna and Co. have seperated from the good doctor. Instead of bringing him with them so they could more easily make their way through the lab.

 Do they not understand the concept of hostages and bargaining chips or something?

 Also, apparently, they jumped out of the car.

 I don't understand what they mean by that. Did they leave it when it was moving? Or did they literally jump out of it?

 Both seem unnecessary.

 A bunch of guards show up and there's another fight before Laguna discovers that the door further into the lab is locked.

 So, if the door doesn't work, how are they do get inside?



Looks like someone is sitting down on the job.
 (The management would like to apologise for that terrible pun.)

 I... I'm perplexed by this. Why is there a tube system from Futurama that's been altered for people too lazy to stand?

 And why is it inside a building? Do... do stairs not exist in Esthar? Was the man who invented stairs killed in a freak accident and the people of Esthar decided to honour his memory by not walking on his greatest invention?

 It seems needlessly complicated. What if there's a power cut? What are you going to do? This isn't an escalator, you can't just use it when it's not powered.

 The weird transport system takes them to a room with some consoles and one guard who somehow splits into two when he attacks. Clearly Odine mastered combining human DNA with that of amoebas.

 Laguna messes around with the consoles and then it's back to the foyer.

 It turns out that all that was to open the door.

 On the other side is Ellone curled up and crying.

It's an emotional reunion.

Are Laguna's knees really that interesting, Ellone?
  At this point the flashback ends and we see Zog waking and standing up. With Nina still on his back.

 What the hell?! Why didn't anyone pull her off him and put him in the recovery position instead of leaving him with an unconcious girl lying on top of him?

 You guys are the worst friends ever.

 I'm desperately failing to see what the point of that flashback was, by the way. Was seeing Laguna rescue Ellone really so important?

 Did we really learn much from that that three text boxes and short cutscene's worth of conversation couldn't have told us more quickly?

 I'm starting to get the feeling that once they came up with the idea for these sections, they realised that there really weren't that many reasons to use it and had to start grasping at straws in order to justify it.

 If Zog shared my reservations, he didn't have time to express them, because a car appeared to cut off the conversation.

 Who is inside? What does this portend?

 Find out next time, in Part Fifty Five!

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