Wednesday, August 6, 2014

TEXT PLAY: Final Fantasy VIII (SquareSoft, 1999; Playstation): Issue #009: Mandatory Side-Quest

Does General Caraway understand what's going on here?

I wonder, because after our train ride to Deling City, the gatekeeper at Caraway's mansion says we need to go to a place called the Tomb of the Unknown King to get the ID number of some guy who wanted an audience with the general and never made it back from the side-quest we're going on. But I'll get into that after I talk about the train ride itself.

Here's the thing about these train rides. We've been paying the three grand pretty much each time we've needed to take one of these trains someplace, and Selphie's the only one who's even been remotely interested in the private section of the car Squall's buying for the party. At least it's only 500 gold per person now that there's six of us in the party. But still, even if there's nothing cool in there for us, it's a nice room, and nobody's using it.

And then there's Irvine. Good old Irvine. He's supposed to be the ladies' man of the game, but really, he's pretty much Squall if he actually talked. And was kind of a pussy. Zell and Selphie get on the train at pretty much the same time as Squall, who's already opened the private section. Selphie goes running off to look out the windows in the private section. And then Squall has to go get Quistis, Rinoa and Irvine. Why the hell they're not just getting on the damn train, I don't know. Certainly they know we've got places to be, and regardless, the train's going to go soon.

Soon as he's on, Irvine goes after Selphie in the private area. The others suggest that Squall go after him, which makes sense, because Irvine had been acting all molestery even before we left Galbadia Garden. Nobody in their right mind would want him alone with somebody like that. When Squall finds Irvine and Selphie, Irvine's being just as molestery as before, if not downright “rapey”, for lack of a better word, towards Selphie. She's having none of it, but it's still an awful thing to watch. It's kind of like the Lazy Town of Final Fantasy games in there. Fourth row, right hand entry explains the reference, there.

When Squall approaches, Irvine knocks it off and goes back to the outer compartment and starts rambling about how he's such a badass loner he is because he's a sniper and all that. The rest of the party's pretty much tired of his shit already, and they've only really known the guy for maybe two and a half hours thus far. Zell even punches the floor hard enough to shake the whole train and do a little minor damage as the scene ends.

As the train pulls into Galbadia, it's time for Squall to get his salary again. Not sure what I did wrong, but Squall's salary level went down one. Not a bad thing, but a bit unfortunate. And that's when we need to take the city bus to Caraway's mansion. When the party gets off the bus and talks to the gatekeeper, he says that we're going to have to go do this side-quest if we want to go talk to the general. This is kind of like what was going on when we got on the train. Surely Caraway and all his people know what's going on here, right? That these are the SeeD folks who are coming to do the hit on the Sorceress, right? And yet, this guard is saying that we've gotta go get this ID number if we want to go talk to General Caraway, like we've been ordered to do by the joint heads of the two Gardens we've been to thus far.

At least the guard is decent enough to give us a map of the tomb, for what little good it'll do us, and take us to the edge of town. He also recommends renting a car to go to the tomb. But that's money I don't need to spend right now, if only because I need the cards, items, and spells the monsters have for us on the way.

As the party enters the tomb, there's a pair of students that comes running out yelling the word “float”. It's a clue as to how to get the Guardian Force that's in the tomb. It's easy enough to get that, all things considered. Just start bearing right at each intersection soon as you get to the first intersection past the sword with the number on it. There's a couple boss fights here, but so long as you cast the Float spell on the monsters, it's easy enough to beat them, especially if you use your other summons. The one called Sacred has life spells, but it's really not going to be worth it, considering that before long, there will be somewhat easier ways to get them anyway.

Back in Deling City, I decided to see if I could upgrade anybody's weapon. The only one I could do was either Selphie's or Rinoa's, but I've already forgotten which it was. At the general's mansion, Squall starts wondering what the deal is, anyway, but then decides to just not think about it because it's easier that way.

And that's where we'll leave off for now, folks. Gotta say, there's a lot of questionable shit going on here. If I say the characters are dumb, it's not necessarily because they're not questioning these things. It's because they all seem too quick to forget it when told to, even for young soldiers. I know they're young and have been trained to just follow orders, but there's gotta be some point at which they'd just want to stop and get some decent answers and explanations for what's going on. Maybe that's what's happening when they all decide to go to this orphanage, even if it doesn't seem that way. We'll be there soon enough, I suppose, so I'll keep that in mind going forward.

So, until next time, have fun, stay safe, keep gaming, and DFTBA, folks!

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