Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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

 Part Fifty Six


 Day Twenty Three: The Esthar Gun Club

 When I loaded up my save file and had a look at my team, I burst out laughing.

 Look how ridiculously over levelled Zog is.

 This is the exact reason I take exception to mandatory characters in RPGs, because this always happens. This always happens.

 There isn't a way to keep levels consistent across the entire party when you always have one character in the party, they will always gain Exp. and the only way to stop them involves crippling yourself. Why would anyone want to go through large portions of a game with one of their party perpetually knocked out?

 Well, whoever came up with the achievements for this game, apparently.

 It's like they're mocking us at this point.

 You can also see how ridiculously underleveled Nina is.

 Here's a quick peek from later to highlight how big of a difference there is.

 For the sake of preventing you from having to do maths if you don't want to, that's a difference of sixty nine levels. If you did feel like doing maths, er... use that to check your working.

 Now, to be fair, I have done a lot of faffing about doing optional things, or attempting to do optional things. But on the otherhand, also in the interest of fairness, Nina has been out of this game for a startlingly long amount of time.

 She was hanging off a cliff for half an hour during the Garden battle and she's been in a coma since the fight with Edea.

 Even taking the faffing about into consideration, the next highest level character (Zell) is still forty one levels behind Zog.

 I feel like I'm being strong armed into being the kind of pokemon player that has a level fifty Charizard while the rest of their pokemon are level twenty five.

 Developers need to never do this again, it is not a good idea and never was.

 Speaking of things that aren't great ideas, this is the Lunar Gate:

Zog doesn't seem impressed.
 Once inside the Lunar Gate, the party is greeted by a woman called Lunar Gate. Which is a fantastic piece of nominative determinism, if I ever saw one.

 Which I haven't here, they clearly just didn't put 'Staff' at the end for whatever reason.

 At this point, Faiz shows up to show her concern for Nina.

 Faiz being Nina's dog, for those who don't remember.

  If memory serves this dog was left on the train in Timber that Watts and Zone left in, but the presumably abandoned when they were driven into the sea.

 I know I haven't really brought up Faiz's ablity to show up anywhere Nina is when she uses her limit break, but it is a bit daft. The reason I don't go on about it is one, Nina's been out of the game for a long time, and two, it's silly enough to suspend my disbelief for.

 Something has got to be in it for the consumer when you ask them to suspend their disbelief, and humour is one of those things that is worth it.

 However, in this case, this isn't funny. If this dog can sense Nina is in danger, why didn't it notice prior?

 Well, with that question I'm not being particularly fair.

 Nina was knocked out in a flying Garden, and was only recently on land for Faiz to get to her.

 But on the other hand, Faiz has appeared in ridiculous places that a dog couldn't reasonably show up in. If I'd used Nina in the fight with Edea, it's entirely plausible that Faiz could have shown up there. Why was Nina being put into a coma not capable of gaining that reaction, when being smacked by a low level Flan can?

 Come on, Faiz, get it together girl!

Here she is, suitably chastened.
  So, twee moment aside, it's time to get into the business of space travel. They've already set it up so that Nina is in the pod.

 Since Zog is clearly also going, it's time to decide who goes with him and Nina, and who out of the ones who stay behind is in charge.

 For some reason, Zell gets to have first shot and I decide to just let him be in charge. It wasn't worth the effort to argue with him. I guess he's proven himself as a competant leader by this point, but it remains a fact that Quistis is still smarter and more experienced. She hasn't suddenly stopped being the best choice for the job because Zell has become a better choice than he was before.

 With Edea's guard/warden team decided, it's time to pick who's coming with Zog and Nina into space.

 Of course, there was only ever one choice.

 Selphie, of course.

 Now, the way that they actually send people into space is something I find especially ridiculous.

 What they do is put people into a 'cold sleep' for the duration of the journey, which they say is quite a far distance, and that they'll be woken up at the end

 It's worth noting that when Selphie and Zog go into the space pod things, everyone else rotates to follow their every move.

 In one of the old sayings of my people, it's well creepy.

 After they've put people into the 'cold sleep', they basically fire them out of a massive gun into space.

Bang! Bang! Rattata!
 Does this sound ridiculous to you?


 Now feel mildly fake-nerded as I tell you that this is an idea that comes to us from early-ish science fiction (although that's an argument for another time).

 The idea originates in From the Earth to the Moon, the 1865 novel by noted science fiction author Jules Verne. It tells the story of the Baltimore Gun Club, a bunch of post-civil war weapon nerds who decide to try and send people to the moon in a massive cannon.

 Specifically a Columbiad, which is a big beast of a weapon at the best of times.

 By an amusing coincidence, they were going to send a party of three as well.

 I'm hoping that this is a reference to From the Earth to the Moon, because if it isn't, this is possibly the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

 Jules Verne put a lot of thought into this idea, and even did some theoretical work to figure out how it could plausibly happen. Some of this work is remarkably accurate.

 However, that doesn't change the fact that it would kill people to be sent to space like this, and the gun would have to be fecking massive to even work.

 And let's make this clear, this is a gun.

 That's not propulsion, that's the trail from shooting through the atmosphere at high speed.

 The whole 'cold sleep' idea is probably the writer's way to deal with the fact that the acceleration used would kill Zog, Nina and Selphie.

 Beause the crafts they're in have no independent propulsion, they're required to have a higher acceleration at launch in order to reach escape velocity. This is what would kill them.

 The 'cold sleep' wouldn't prevent them from dying. At best it would prevent them going into shock, but that's not going to stop their organs from rupturing.

 The Columbiad space gun was an interesting idea, and an important one as it helped inspire space travel as we know it, but it wouldn't work and would kill people.

 I get why this is a thing in the universe of VIII. The way we send people into space is expensive and difficult. This method would be consistent and much cheaper than using rockets, since the payload is vastly reduced and therefore the energy cost would be reduced.

 But still, it would kill people and wouldn't work anyway.

 There's a better way of doing this, but that's going to have to wait until later, because there's more to this space gun that doesn't work that will come up in due course.

 For now, it's back to Zell and the team on the ground. We'll cover their adventures in Part Fifty Eight!

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