Friday, 3 October 2014

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

 (Sorry about the long gap, was horribly ill.)

 Part Sixty Two


 Day Twenty Three: God Dammit, Moon Moon

  So, the Lunar Cry is heading towards Adel.

 As you can see it dramatically engulfs her prison, although it does conveniently miss Nina.

 She floats off as the monster and evil (but amazingly buff) sorceress combo heads towards the hapless planet below.

 From here we cut back to the space station and Zog's Greek theatre acting.

Just stick him in a mask and have done with it already.
 Naturally, Selphie is also concerned about Nina and Zog tries to talk Ellone into sending him to Nina using her powers while Piet the technician is desperately trying to get them into an escape pod so that they don't all die a horrible death in the depths of space.

 Ellone says that Nina is calling for Zog, but also that she doesn't know if she can send him to her like she wants.

 This raises the interesting question of what 'meeting' a person actually means when it comes to Ellone's powers. Because we know that Nina's body and Ellone were in the same place at the same time, but that Nina was possessed at that point.

 However, we also know that she was likely aware of what was going on as Edea said that she was when she was under the control of Ultimecia.

 Luckily, Piet manages to get everyone onto the escape pod and away from their iminent deaths.

 There's then an FMV cutscene of the Lunar Cry heading down to the Lunatic Pandora and Tear's Point, and it is gorgeous and ominous and everything that they wanted it to be.

 Just look at this:

 Stunning, just stunning.

 From here we go into one of my favourite things to do in this let's play, lots of jumping around!

 -sobs grossly-

 In the escape capsule Zog begs Ellone to send him back into Nina's past again. He also goes on about his feelings in such a way that he may as well have gone "but you don't understand Sister, I love her!". (Use your best imaginary Ariel voice for this.)

 Ellone makes no promises that it will work, but agrees to try.

 Piet yells at them to get in the... well they're not seats. Cubicles, I suppose. Something between a Borg recharge station and a themepark ride.

 With everyone finally strapped in, they're shot out of the space station just before it is engulfed and destroyed by the oncoming wave of monsters.

 ... The oncoming wave of monsters? Didn't... this already break the atmosphere?

 One the way down did some of the monsters decide to go on a brief detour and destroy this space station that they've had their eye on for the last couple of decades?

 "Hey, Dave? D'you see that space station?"

 "Yeah, what about it Sunita?"

 "Wanna get the gang together and take a detour to destroy it?"

 "Yeah! Sure, sounds like fun!"

 So they decided to break off from the group and have a go at it.

 Not to mention that all the evidence we've seen so far implies that the Lunar Cry falls onto one area.


 I think they might have put these specific cutscenes in the wrong order, because this doesn't make much sense.

 After this Ellone capitulates to Zog's request and sends him back into Nina's past.

 Where very little happens.

 It's not surprising, really, because we know virtually everything this girl has done over the last few months or so of her life. We've either seen it first hand or heard about it.

 We heard about her forcing Irvine to go back to the prison and seen the results.

Well, this looks mildly inappropriate.
 We heard about her asking Zell to make her a copy of Zog's ring that she's never seen and seen the results of that as well. Hell, we saw her put it on her hand.

Just admit it Nina, you read Only The Ring Finger Knows too.
 Zog complains to Ellone that this is too far back.

 I suggest that it's not far back enough.

 Why not show us falling out with her father? I'd like to know why that happened, and it would provide insight for Nina's personality.

 Hell, why not show her as a child? We've seen the rest of them as kids, why not Nina too? I bet she would be adorable.

 Actually, on that note, why not show her interacting with her mother? For the character that wrote the in universe version of the theme song, she's only been in two scenes. Why not let us get to know her a little better, see how life after Laguna went for her?

 Why have Ellone conveniently show us Nina having two conversations about Zog? We know how she feels about him, so none of this is news to anyone playing. Aboslutely no one seeing this scene is going to go 'Oh! She loves him! So that's why she's been invading his personal space, refusing to leave him alone, asking him about his feelings and wanted a copy of his ring! I never would have figured that out in a million years! Thanks Square! You got me out of a bind there.'

 It's like some perverse reversal of the Bechdel test. "When seperated from him, does one of the main female characters only talk about the guy she likes when the story could have used exactly the same opportunity to tell us more about her? Yes? Then you've passed the 'Heartilly test', congratulations and have a kick in the nuts if you have them, kidneys if you don't."

 The level of totally unnecessary misogyny in this game is just baffling. It's full of interesting and strong female characters and, except for Edea, they're largely badly used and all over the place in terms of characterisation.

 (Actually, female is completely the wrong word to use, but that's more relevant later on.)

 Finally, we get to something relevant.

 The scene where Nina fell into this bizarre coma in the first place.

 It still doesn't feel like much of a revelation, because it's painfully obvious that she's being possessed by Ultimecia. We know that Ultimecia can possess women, has possessed women before and is threatening to possess them again, so it's obviously her.

 Confirming that it's her could have been a lot less overly dramatic.

 On the other hand this section does explain why the Lunatic Pandora is hanging around and how it got to Tear's Point.

Awww, I guess it wasn't in the crater after all.
 Seifer did it.

 Not superbly surprising, but it's nice to know for certain. We also learn that is was indeed Ultimecia who commissioned him to do so.

 On top of that, we get to have a look at the main villain of the game for the first time.

 Huh, she looks like a red Malificent from the recent movie of the same name.

 Since Zog failed to save Nina in the past, just like Ellone told him he would, it looks like he'll have to try something else in order to save her.

 Find out what that is, next time in Part Sixty Four.

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