Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Let's Play: Final Fantasy VIII - Part Eighty Two

 Part Eighty One


 Day Thirty Five: Straight Back on the Complain Train

 Look, look at my glorious accomplishment.

It is a thing of beauty.
 It's the greatest thing that I have ever achieved in all of my days. Choirs of angels will sing praise to my name for all eternity.

 There's no achievement for this, even though it took literally forever. Remember, Nina was at level twenty six, Irvine at level forty six and Selphie at level forty nine and they all had to be levelled up separately so they could get the stat boosts.

 Boo, I'm glad I did it though, all that's left to do before the final battle with Ultimecia is to make sure everyone is junctioned to be as strong as I can get them to be.

 For now, though, it's time to head into Ultimecia's awesome looking castle. Oh yeah, I've been looking forward to this.

 Wait, were they all even in the trippy falling through the sky, landing in water and ending up being saved by birds only to get into a fight with a sorceress bit?


 I changed my party up in the over world a couple of times, but I'm still not entirely sure A. how Selphie and Irvine got through time compression like everyone else did or B, where the rest of the party even is when you're not using them.

 Irvine and Selphie were nowhere to be seen the entire time during the time compression scene, so I genuinely have no idea how they ended up in the future.

 The confusion about the location of non-battle party members is highlighted not only by this section, but by what happens in Ultimecia's castle.

 We'll get to that in a second, first there's something else that needs to be addressed.

 There's this one part of Chrono Trigger where the party is captured and stripped of their items and weapons and need to get them back.

 This is a little bit like that, only to the point of being totally excessive.

 What this basically means is that you are more or less crippled for the final battle against Ultimecia unless you go around the castle, find every boss in the place and beat them up. A task also made harder by the fact you can't use magic, items, GFs, Command Abilities (like calling shop), your Limit Breaks or revive KOed characters if you do have access to magic or items.

 Not being able to use Draw is also a problem, but I will get to that in a minute.

 For now we're going to go back to the problem of where the non-battle party members go.

 You're probably thinking I'm being pedantic on this front, and you may be right, but the thing is, I've played Breath of Fire II, and that game actually explains where your non-battle party members go.

 Breath of Fire just had them with you but only had a battle party of four, which doesn't make all the sense in the world, but is functional enough to ignore. Breath of Fire II had the party members who were not in battle with you hanging out in a big house and were teleported to and from your current location by dragon god statues.

 I can cope with either no proper explanation, like Breath of Fire, or a good explanation like Breath of Fire II or Chrono Trigger (which did something similar, only it wasn't just a house).

 Final Fantasy VIII doesn't bother to explain it until almost at the end of the game (they're in Ragnarok) and doesn't actually bother to explain how the save points work to change party members.

 Then you can change party members freely in the field, then there's this bit where they get back together, which seems ridiculous considering the plot of the game that makes it look like they've been seperated by the time compression yet puts them into two groups of three instead of one of four and one of two which would make more sense.

 Then there's this!

 When you use these, your current party is left on the glowing green circle you selected to switch on. They're necessary for puzzles.

 I'd say it was clever, but there's reasons it really isn't.

 The first of which is that it just adds more confusion to the non-battle party members location thing.

 I wouldn't mind if they hadn't bothered explaining it at all! But they've explained it just enough that it's become an incoherent mess of a mechanic in terms of in world explanations.

 Players can forgive a lot for the sake of game play, but when you half explain a thing like this, you've suddenly brought attention to it and then disbelief starts wading back in.

 Maybe I care too much about this, but I've spent a lot of my time playing RPG. It's my favourite genre of video games and I don't like it when something so simple, yet so visible, is done so badly.

 Especially by a company that's done it so well before!


 Okay, time to get back to why not being able to Draw is a big problem.

 From the foyer, I went to the left down a corridor.

You know what I always say; if it's not Baroque, don't fix it!
 Then in the next room I went through the door at the back, and kept going straight.

 From here there's a bridge and you end up in a clock tower, keep making your way up and this is how you get to Ultimecia. You absolutely do not have to get the ability to do anything other than hit her with things. Or shoot her, if you're Nina or Irvine.

Why would you want to do this? Are you some kind of masochist?
Did you have a bad childhood?
Since this is a monumentally bad idea, I decided to investigate this swinging thing in the tower.

I see the pendulum, but that's not really a pit, is it?
 What you need to do is jump on it and then jump off on the other side because through that door is this:

 This is Tiamat, you can draw Eden from her if you can't get it from the Ultima Weapon (because he's a cheatey, cheatey bastard).

 Except you can't if you haven't got your draw ability back, which at this point I haven't.

 I don't need to, but it's the principle of the thing!

 Also, there's no warning about this, which has been a problem for a lot of the side quests and GFs in this game.


 I don't expect to be led around by the nose, but some warning would be nice.

 Maybe things will be better in Part Eighty Three, see you then.

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