Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Seventy One

 Part Seventy


 Day Twenty Nine: Don't Shumi, Shoo Woman

 The Shumi are totally pointless.

 No, really, as of the last part of the plot that I've done, the Shumi have served a single purpose: to explain where a character who very well could have just been human comes from.

 This guy:

And he couldn't have been human because...?
 According to the other characters, he transformed into this because it reflected his inner greed and terrible perosnality and ethics.

 However, I'd like to point this out:

  The guy on the left is a normal Shumi, the guy on the right has transformed into an Elder.

 Notice how NORG really doesn't look that dramatically different from these guys. He's basically the same as the Elder, just with more body fat (which raises questions about Square's views on body image).

 The thing is, we know that Shumi transformations can be far, far more dramatic than NORG or the Elder here.


 Because these things used to be Shumi.

D'awww, they think Zog is likable.
 Yes, you read that right, the Moomba, who look absolutely nothing like the Shumi are transformed from the Shumi. In fact, from all the evidence that I've come across, this seems to be the most common following stage of a Shumi's life.

 Most of them turn into these things.

 Consider this, we see tonnes of these things and only two Shumi who have clearly transformed into something else.

 Since the something else is remarkably similar in the two known cases, I'm going to present to you my theory:

 NORG transformed into the same thing the Elder did.

 He's just an elder with a sedentary lifestyle and a bad diet.

 I know I'm not talking much about the actual meat and bones of the side quest, but there's not much to talk about in terms of actual mechanics. It's basically a fetch quest.

 An annoying, difficult to figure out fetch quest.

 You go talk to one dude, and they're all dudes, there is no implication that any of the Shumi are ladies, and then you fetch rocks for him.

 Yup, rocks.


 He's making a statue. A statue that is already largely carved out of a big chunk of rock already, so this is really just an exercise in wasting your time. Especially when you're asked to fetch the water stone, and it isn't in the one place you think it will be.

Which is here, this is where you think it is.
 During this quest, it becomes frightfully clear how screwed up the Shumi are.

 For starters, they want to give you a gift because you went to the effort of coming all this way in order to visit them in the back end of beyond. But you don't get anything without working for it.

 Which, by definition makes it not a gift.

 Not to mention that when you get all the rocks you end up getting a look at the Elder's freaky hand and that's meant to be a good gift. Well, until Zog and Co. leave the room, then the two Shumi talk about how that was a crap gift.

 Ugh, dicks.

 There's also a guy in the inn who appears to be wheelchair bound and talks about how overcoming difficulties with hard work and ingenuity is the Shumi way, which combined with the way the Eder is happy to make you help in order to give you nothing as a 'gift' and has no qualms about forcing his subordinates to do things that they don't want to, makes me concerned that no one has helped this guy out and he had to make a wheelchair himself in order to not starve.

  I'm not joking about the forcing his subordinates to do things that they don't want, either.

 His attendent really doesn't want to work on the statue, but he's made to do it anyway.

 And speaking of forcing people to work against their will, you're probably either mildly horrified by what I told you about the Moombas earlier, or you're wondering where I'm going with this.

 Well, to recap very quickly, we've seen a lot of Moombas, but only one of them is in the Shumi village.

 Most of them are, or have been, in slavery under the command of varying evil countries.

 Both the prison in Galbadia and Adel run Esthar, had Moombas that were being used as slaves and treated very badly.

 I have a horrible feeling that the Moombas are sold off as slaves by the Elder. After all, he thinks the Moomba being unable to communicate effectively is a good thing.

 I do not care for this guy.

 On the other hand, I do care for the Artisan, mostly because I think he's pining for the grease monkey in Fisherman's Horizon.

It's cute.
 You've got to go grab something from Fisherman's Horizon to get him to work on the statue that he doesn't want to either but the Elder is still going to make him work on.

 Once he is working on it, you hear his plan to try and turn into a human so he can go live in Fisherman's Horizon. Which I'm not sure is possible, but is very sweet.

 I wish him the best of luck.

 I keep talking about a statue, what's it a statue of?

 This loser:

Don't deny it, he is a loser.
 Apparently he fell off yet another cliff and needed help from the Shumi.

 What is it with this guy and cliffs?

 He tried to teach Moomba how to speak and the Attendent got a massive crush on him.

 Once everyone you can get to work on the statue is doing so, you get given the Status Guard, which can teach one GF the ST-Def-Jx4 ability, which can come in pretty handy at times.

 Next time I plan to do some item collecting and general planning in order to get Eden and defeat the Ultima Weapon. So join us next time in part Seventy Two.

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