Friday, 1 August 2014

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

 Part Forty Two


 Day Seventeen: Once, Twice, Three Times a Canine

 It's weirdly nostalgic to go around Galbadia Garden like this. I did a good amount of exploring the last time Zog and Co. were there, so it's kind of exciting to see how it hasn't changed at all.

 Okay, that's only slightly sarcastic.

 I'm not really bothered by how little it's changed, but after Trabia Garden it would be nice to see some change from the last time I was here.

 The only real difference is that there aren't students hanging around all over the place, also there's a three headed hell hound in the main hall.


 This is Cerberus, and Selphie is right, he is a GF.

 No, I have no idea what he's doing there either.

 I didn't question Jim being in a lava filled cave, it made sense for a creature named Ifrit, and I didn't mind drawing various GFs from monsters and other characters.

 I don't know, finding a GF in what appears to be its natural habitat is fine, and I can buy monsters harnessing the powers of these elemental forces. Charles, after all, was obtained from monsters who used Reflect and he gives the party that buff so it makes good sense.

 But Cerberus?

 It's just standing there in the middle of the main hall waiting for you to go up to it and start a fight.

 It even tries to banter with the party.

New headcanon: Prior to joining Balamb Garden, Fuujin was
raised by this hell hound.
 Why is it there?

 This Garden is flying around the world at the behest of an evil sorceress and global superpower and there's this hell hound just sitting there waiting to be defeated and enslaved by a bunch of teenagers.

 Which I guess would make sense if it was previously in the Garden to be used as a test like Jim was, but why would the Galbadians let it out of whatever containment it was in?

 Did they plan to harness its power and it just went, "NO, YOU ARE NOT WORTHY. GO AWAY, PUNY MORTALS." Which is a thing that would make sense, I guess, but is still kind of unbelievable.

 Not to mention that this is Galbadia Garden, where they don't habitually connect powerful elemental forces to the brains of children. Remember, Irvine is from this Garden and he suffers no memory loss at all.

 So there goes that theory.

 But hey, maybe my headcanon is more on the nose and this GF is the one that Fuujin has been junctioned to for the longest, just like Zog is to Bobbi. I'd say it would explain her tendency to use magic since Cerberus gives you both Triple and Double when summoned, but Zog has no affinity with ice at all...

 Which doesn't help.

 Not to mention that if this was the case, why would she just abandon Cerberus or let it go like this? Earlier in the series Zog and Co. stripped her of Pandemona, so the likelihood of her dropping another GF that greatly raise her effectiveness in battle when she's already feeling vulnerable is practically zero. Especially considering what's going on with Seifer, which has got to be causing her an anguish that banging Raijin until his eyes bleed just can't fix.


 Why isn't Fuujin the protagonist? She's virtually everything that Nomura wanted Zog to be, only with an actual personality and without the unnecessary dickishness.

 But I digress, to fighting Cerberus!

 This... is a frustrating battle. Or at least it was for me.

 Cerberus here is the master of Triple, the spell that allows a magic user to cast three spells in one turn instead of just one. He also likes to use Dispel, in case you get clever and try to use Reflect.

 You may be able to keep on top of this early on, but he will get you if you're not careful.

 Basically, you need to not overcomplicate things. Feel free to have Charles cast reflect on you in the first turn, but then you need to hit this cur as hard as you can.

 He may be a total pain in the neck but he has low health, so if you hit him hard and fast you can take him out. I managed to solely because Zog had a limit break available after Selphie and Nina got knocked out and it managed to do just enough damage to beat the son of a bitch.

This bitch, to be specific.
 Faiz is the mother of us all.

 Unfortunately, her name had already been given to Nina's dog so we could enjoy Kamen Rider esque attacks like 'Faiz Rush'.

It's more like a Rider Headbutt than a Rider Kick.
 So Cerberus, named for the three headed dog that guarded the gates to the underworld in Greek mythology is now named Theo after a male Kelb tal-Fenek. A Maltese breed where the females hunt and the males are subservient to them.

 They also have such large and delicate ears that frostbite is a serious concern in the wintertime.

Such delicate ears.
 Theo keeps trying to lick Faiz on the mouth, and she doesn't like it.

 For reference, this is what Cerberus looks like in game:

Such a fitting name.
 By the way, there's a hidden draw point in the main hall. It holds Haste.

 Since I've spent so long talking about Cerberus, I've now barely got any room to talk about the plot for this section.

 So I'm going to leave that for Part Forty Four and instead talk about other things in Galbadia Garden for a bit.

 For starters, I do not like the music in this place.

 It sounds okay in this video, but there's this one part that's just one note going on so long that it keeps making me think the audio's gone wrong on my computer. It's an unsettling feeling, and not the kind they were going for either.

 I'm just running around Galbadia Garden and it suddenly occurs to me that this one note has been going on for an awfully long time, what if something's gone wrong with the- oh, there it is. That's incredibly annoying.

 It's something that can happen multiple times in a matter of minutes due to the way the music is looped.

 It bothers me, that's all.

 There's also an amazing monster here that I just love.

I'm not really sure Square knows how claws work.
 Just look at it. It's like a scorpion had an illegitimate love child with a flying fox and that child had an illegitimate love child with a raccoon and when that child was a teen they got bitten by a radioactive insect that caused them to bulk up and have that set of extra arms problem that Spiderman had for a while.

 They can make you fall asleep, but they're not that tough to kill. I really just love how ridiculous it looks.

 Next time we'll go get that final card key and it will be time for the climactic showdown with the Sorceress!

 So make sure you check back on Tuesday for Part Forty Four.

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