Thursday, 18 September 2014

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

 Part Fifty Seven


 Day Twenty Three: Doctor Why (Don't You Get To The Point)

  I'd given all the junctions to Nina, Zog and Selphie, thinking that the plot would follow their adventures in spaaace. However, I was wrong.

 So it was the classic 'hurriedly reassigning junction profiles' routine once it became clear that there was going to be some battling to do.

 After Zell tries to reassure Faiz, the ground starts to shake and they decide to head outside.

 This leads into a beautiful FMV cutscene where a huge black monolith flies over the city of Esthar.

 It's a very effective cutscene. Very much in the vein of an Independence Day, but I like that movie, so I'm counting it as a plus.

 (Also, if you don't like that movie, you can't fault the cinematography, at least.)

 In classic Final Fantasy VIII protagonist fashion, these guys don't seem too invested in the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are potentially in danger, they're more concerned about one guy they know. It's partial concern for his safety, and part belief that he'll know what's going on.

 When they do get back to the city, being attacked by a Malboro on the way was annoying, they find a worryingly cheerful Odine safe in his laboratory.

 During a discussion with his assistant, the party overhears that the huge black monolith is the Lunatic Pandora and that it's currently being controlled by the Galbadians. It appears that they excavated it. I have no idea where from, but they did.

 The assistant is scared for the sake of the city, and it's nice to see that someone is, but Odine tells him that there's no need to be concerned as the city is not their target. He does imply that it's Tear's Point, which excites me, because I love that place.

 Zell wants to know what's going on, and at this point we know that if this was a Nintendo game with talking animals in it, Odine would be an owl. Because the man will not get to the damn point.

Me every time Kaepora Gaebora opens his beak.
 After some rambling from Odine and yelling from Zell, the party gets given a map and a plan in order to board the Lunatic Pandora and try to stop it.

It's not just me, that does kind of look like the USS Enterprise, right?
  It's one of those lovely timed sections that I like so much!

 This time we need to get to one of three places in the city by a certain time. Point one needs to be reached between fifteen and twelve minutes left, if not, then point two between ten and five minutes left, and if you fail at that two, there's always the final one at the edge of the city during the last three minutes of the timer.

 "Ah," you say, "that doesn't sound too difficult, I can make it to point one super easily!"

 Well, that's what I thought, but I was wrong.

 Point one is the centre of the city. I had thought I could just take the public transport right there, but that's all broken for some reason.

 I tried to get there on foot, but I couldn't actully work out where the hell it was, so my frantic running around came to naught.

 I managed to get on at the second contact point, but only while panicking like crazy.

 Why? Okay, look at this:

 I was running back and forth on this thing for three minutes, wondering why the Lunatic Pandora wasn't there.

 What you need to do is be on the bottom one and run towards the right. Which is something I managed to work out in the knick of time. If you find yourself in the same predicament, go further into the picture and go around to the left on the next screen and head in a circle until you find yourself on the bottom path.

 It's a very confusing city, so this isn't a particularly easy task.

 When you do manage to get to a contact point, you're met with a battle, once that's won, the party manages to get onto the Lunatic Pandora, which may seem very familiar to you.

 This and the way the city's transport system stopped working makes me think that this was once in the crater to the south of Trabia Garden. You know, the one where Nida keeps going on about the readings going crazy.

 As you've doubtlessly noticed, this looks an awful lot like the crystal caverns that Laguna and Co. dealt with all those parts ago. Which does make it seem likely that the Lunatic Pandora is what Esthar was doing in that region in the first place.

 Once some light exploring has been done, Zell and the others run into a statue or creature of some kind and are propelled upwards. This puts them on the top of the Lunatic Pandora and leads into another beautiful FMV cutscene where it hovers over and interacts with Tear's Point.

 Dr Odine had already told the party that the Lunatic Pandora was heading there, and that once it interacted with Tear's Point, the Galbadians wouldn't be the most immediate issue.

 Did I mention that the cutscene was beautiful?

 Because it really is.

 If you have the time, I think looking this cutscene up on youtube would definitely be worth the effort.

 The FMV cutscenes always look good, even if they don't always make much sense.

  Having totally failed to do the one thing they set out to do, Zell and Co. fall back. Although I don't know how they're going to get off that thing.

 We'll rejoin Zog and Co. next time in Part Fifty Nine.

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