Saturday, 6 September 2014

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

 Part Fifty Five


 Day Twenty Two: Brief Encounter

 So, collecting all the things you need in order to summon Doom Train...

 I can't actually remember if I ever told you how to obtain Remedy+, so I'm going to tell you now in order to be on the safe side.

 Remedy+ is obtained by using the Med LV Up ability that Gordian learns. It takes ten Remedies to make one Remedy+, so you'll need to save up a fair amount in order to buy all of the supplies you'll need.

 Steel Pipes can be mugged from Wendigos (and I believe I covered that in an earlier part).

 So this brings us to the last two items, Solomon's Ring and the six Malboro tentacles.

 Solomon's Ring can be located at Tear's Point. Which I thought was 'Tyr's Point' because I first heard about it by someone telling me. I find the idea of a point being in the possession of tears really odd.

 Malboros can be found more or less all over the continent, but they're pretty rare, so actually finding them can be something of a pain in the neck.

 I'll cover getting Solomon's Ring first and then the tentacles, as that is the order I got them in.

 Tear's Point is to the East of Esthar, which according to the citizens is the capital.

 This is a problem that's pretty much unique to videogames. Due to time contraints, budget contstraints, laziness or whatever other possible reasons; most countries in video games barely have any settlements in them.

 Esthar is no exception, so this statement here is a nonsense.

 This country has one settlement in it.

 Therefore, it's not really the capital as much as it is a large city state.

 If you remember your Ancient Greek history, the city states weren't restricted to just inside the city walls, their boundaries also spread out into the countryside.

 A continent spanning city state would be very unusual, but it would also speak to the futuristic nature of Esthar for this to be the case.

 In history, especially European history, cities start in one place and spread outwards to engulf other settlements and include them in the city.

 Birmingham isn't just the name of the whole city, it's also the name of one small part.

 I'm from a place called Handsworth, which was once a seperate settlement entirely from Birmingham. My Aunt Connie (who I really should dedicate a post to sometime) lived in Bourneville, which you may have heard of if you're a great fan of chocolate.

 When the Cadbury brothers set up their new factory in Bourneville, they did it entirely because it was near Birmingham, but wasn't actually in Birmingham. This was back in 1861, and these days, Bourneville is very much in Birmingham.

 If something like that can happen in one hundred and fifty years, the idea of a city that has spread over an entire continent is the futuristic extreme.

 So why not just call it a city state? That's what it is and it would be a cooler way to refer to it.

 Heading out of the city proper was kind of a pain. You need to head to a specific exit and instead of spitting you out in the countryside, it spits you out on the weird floating roads.

The whole Beltor thing is especially bad here.
 Are the hover cars really necessary if you can just walk on these?

 It just seems like a needless extravagance.

 After finally managing to get out of the city, I headed down Tear's Point.

 It looks amazing.

 It's like a huge server room, or something. While I was in there there wasn't really any prsented explanation for what it is, so that's my headcanon and I'm sticking to it.

 I really like this place because I think it's the kind of server centre that the Victorians would have built. Functional, but also aesthetically pleasing in a more classical manner.

 Are the stature necessary? No. Are they gorgeous? Yes.

 Science fiction needs more of this. Minimilism is too stark an aesthetic style for my liking, and it tends to be horribly overused in the genre.

 Solomon's ring is at the feet of one of these statues. There's no boss or mini-boss fight involed in obtaining it, so it's a bit easy to get a hold of to my mind. I would have appreciated more of a challenge to get a hold of the key item for the whole summoning.

 In comparison, getting your hands on the Malboro Tentacles is much more difficult. Which probably explains why Solomon's Ring is just lying there, but it's still something of a let down.

 Malboros are very tough, they're basically mini-bosses, so you're going to want to take a specific tactic if you want to be able to get the tentacles.

 You can't take them down easily because they have a lot of HP and will hit you with every status debuff.

 At this point, having the kind of status defenses you'd really want in this situation is very difficult, so it's time to game the system.

 One: Get Quistis in your battle party and have her have low HP. You want this because if you use a Black Hole you can teach her Degenerator that can defeat enemies immediately.

 Two: It's time to Mug the ever living hell out of Malboros.

 Three: Status defence agains Sleep

 Basically, you need to hope that Quistis and whoever has Mug (in my case it was Zog) can get hits in before the Malboro hits the party with Bad Breath. You basically have one turn before you need to run like hell from this battle.

 There is a down side to using Mug, and that's that you're going to have to go back to town constantly to sell all the Mesemerize Blades you'll inevitably collect.

 Which makes this as good a time as any to talk about the shops in Esthar.

 This is the store interface.

 It's a thing I find mildly amusing because of how pointless it is. The shops are all there, you could just walk to them and talk to the shopkeeper, but nope! Esthar has the technology to make it so that you can go to the mall and make your purchases right there and then without ever having to talk to another human being.

 The future, ladies and gents.

 After a couple of runs back and forth to the city, I managed to collect enough Marlboro Tentacles from the hit and run method.

 Of course, during the whole excursion, Odin popped up a couple of times. He even showed up two battles in a row at one point.

 Neither of them were actually against a Malboro, so I'm a little bit bitter about that.

 Once I had all of the supplies, it was time to summon Doom Train.

 You do this by using the ring in your inventory and he just kind of... talks to you before you get the option to name him.

 Of course there was only one choice.

What else was I going to call him? Henry?
 Like you always want to when you get a fancy new ability, I immediately equipped Thomas and found an encounter.

 An encounter that Odin decided to show up to and take care of.

 Damnit Odin! It's not all about you and your six legged horse!

 The encounter afterwards finally gave me the opportunity to see Thomas attack, and it did not disappoint.

 It's long, it's ridiculous, space is involved for some reason and it is really epic.

 Him is still my favourite, but Thomas is a close second.

 Now I have Thomas, it's time to head to the Lunar Gate.

 Look forward to that in Part Fifty Seven, but tomorrow look out for a quick bonus post about Edea and her limit break.

 See you then!

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