Tuesday, 7 October 2014

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

 Part Sixty Three


 Day Twenty Three: Yet It's Still A Better Love Story Than Twilight

 By the way, and I do feel a perverse need to point this out, don't you think it's a bit... icky that there's a massive red stream of monsters coming from the moon?

 It's... very menstrual.

 I know, I'm sorry.

 Now onto less icky things.

 So, considering that Ellone was right about not being able to save Nina in the past, what can they do now?

 Why, use Ellone's poorly defined psychic powers of course!

 I mock, and I'm right to, but this is a pretty dramatic scene.

 You're watching a teenage girl run out of oxygen in space.

 She's suffocating in that screenshot.

 Considering that in the game directly previous to this one, one of the characters died, this must have been a moment of gut wrenching concern for emotionally invested players.

 So, how do Zog and Ellone manage to get her out of this?

 I'm actually not sure.

 Ellone allows Zog to talk to Nina in 'the nearest past. The closest present to the future.' I genuinely don't know why her ill defined telepathy wasn't just used here, because as far as I can tell, she's basically sending Nina Zog's thoughts a couple of seconds before he thinks them.

 Which just seems like a needlessly complicated way of doing it.

 Zog does the old 'you've got to hold on!' guff, and I genuinely not sure how that's supposed to help an astronaut whose suit has just cut off life support.

 However, somehow, the combination of seeing his ring and hearing his voice inside her head prompts her to do this:

 And then she's breathing again and seems to no longer be dying.

 What the hell was that button for?

 Her life support has ended, it's stopped, she has no more, that suit's life support capabilities have run down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. That, my friends, is a depleted space suit.

 How the hell does just pushing a button make that no longer the case?

 Human beings can't run on fumes.

 As Piet pretty much says when Zog goes out into space to try and find Nina.

 I'm mildly perplexed by this, Zog's gone from being a reasonably sensible person to a complete- no, I can't write that, he's always been a moron.


 Space is big, space is incredibly (albeit passively) hostile; if you lose something in space, you're not getting it back.

 Also, hanging around in space for long periods in a space suit, even a hypothetical one with endless fuel and oxygen, will kill you because of radiation.

 Let's put it this way, Aerith could have survived being stabbed in the stomach, Nina surviving space like this is a stretch.

 Zog throwing his life away to save a girl he can't even admit that he loves leads to one of the most bizarre gameplay sections that I can recall.

 I couldn't even tell what I was supposed to do at first. It's a good thing Zog told me, or they would have both died horribly.

 The problem I had was figuring out how to do that. I pulled it off, but I'm still not totally sure how I did it.

 After he catches her, Zog internally monologues about how he has no fuel and is low on oxygen, yet somehow when he sees the deus ex machina space ship, he still manages to get them over to it.

 I can only presume that he's literally running on fumes at this point, because you can't swim in space. It's not water, it's a vacuum, there is nothing to push against in order to gain momentum.

 However, in spite of having no means of propulsion, he does manage to get them both into the conveniently placed space ship of convenience.

 Which is where things start to get a little... troublesome.

 But we'll get to that, because right now we get to see Nina and Zog interact. Will he be any less incompetent at it now that they've both come within a few breaths of death?

Of course not.

 I really don't know what I was expecting.

 It manages to get worse when she asks him for a hug and he denies her by saying that that don't have time for that.

 Buddy, she nearly just died, give her a fecking hug. Virtually anyone else in that situation would want a hug, and frankly I'm amazed at Nina's restraint. Selphie or Zell wouldn't have bothered to ask, you would have been tackled into a wall.

 Also, you have time to tell her why you don't have time for a hug but you don't have time to hug her and talk at the same time?

 I know some people are going to say that this kind of behaviour shows he's on the autistic spectrum, but I don't buy it.

 Zog's just thick, it's best that you just accept that and move on. Using him as representation for autistic people is insulting autistic people. Just use Agent Francis York Morgan, he's a much better character for this (even though he technically isn't autistic).

 They move onto exploring the ship and here is where the trouble starts.

 It's infested with monsters.


I don't know, I never bothered to scan them.
 Well, not infested, there's eight of them. But they are pretty tough.

 There's four pairs, either they're dating and their bond is strong enough to bring them back from the cold grasp of death, or they're like those aliens in Singing the Dogstar Blues only instead of them both dying if one of them does, they can bring each other back to life.

 This isn't a unique concept in video games, but usually it's a 'you need to kill them both in one go' thing. In this case it's if you kill a yellow one and then kill a green one, the yellow one will come back to life. If you kill a yellow one and then the other yellow one, they both stay dead.

 Alternatively, if you just keep murdering them, eventually they stop the whole 'surprise bitch, I bet you thought you'd seen the last of me!' routine.

 I went down the former route, with a little unsolicited help from Odin.

 Out of the eight monsters he instakilled three.


 How many times did he show up to help me with Malboros? None.

 He has terrible timing.

 (Honestly, his constant appearances on this ship amuse me, mostly because it's called the Ragnarok and in Norse mythology Odin died (permanently this time) during Ragnarok.)

 By the way, the method for killing these monsters is covered in game in a ship's log. Which is where you also learn that these monsters were responsible for the demise of the crew.

 Which is pretty dark. Good job lads.

  Killing all these monsters allows Zog and Nina to make it into the cockpit.

 What will they find there? Find out in Part Sixty Five, where we will finish this day of gameplay if it kills me.

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