Wednesday, November 12, 2014

TEXT PLAY: Final Fantasy VIII (SquareSoft, 1999; Playstation): Issue #016: Balam Garden III: The Wrath of NORG



OK, given the titles I've used for these last couple issues, I hope it's obvious what I was going for above:

Thank you, Paramount, William Shatner, and Ricardo Montalban for such a classic scene that even the folks at Squaresoft may have been trying to mimic here.

When we left off with the game, Rinoa had just begged Squall for a tour of Balam Garden, so he's going to give it to her. The tour, that is.

The first stop I made on this tour was the training center. That's right, the place full of face-eating monsters. You'd think a place like that would put a girl off, but not Rinoa. I guess she gets off on danger. Hadn't figured her for quite that type, but there you go. There are a few other places to visit as well. Probably the funniest is the dining hall. Squall tells Rinoa about how popular hot dogs are here at Balam Garden, and that we need to be quick because some kinds are more popular than others. Rinoa gets all cracked up at the idea of Squall with a hot dog in his mouth. I'm sure it happens more often than she realizes, and not just in the caffeteria.

In the infirmary, Doctor Kadowaki says she wants Squall to tell Cid he needs to come see her because there's worried that the guy will give himself a heart attack from working too hard. She also says she thinks it's cute that Squall's found a girl who seems to like him. From there, it's off to the main lobby, where one of the Garden Faculty comes along and tells Squall that Garden Master NORG wants to see him right this instant, and that he has permission to go down to the basement and talk to him.

Quistis joins Squall and Rinoa in the basement, which somehow looks like V'Ger all of a sudden. Cid's down there and he's having a fight with whoever this NORG guy is. Something about money and the way the Garden's being run now that the Sorceress is a threat.

NORG wants a report about what happened and gets all pissy about how the assassination went because he thinks Cid and Martine are trying to take his Garden system away from him. Not like it makes much sense, considering we didn't even know NORG existed before we got back to base. NORG's a bigger rambling idiot than I am on my Mixlr show (recorded episodes here) and just doesn't make any sense about what's going on, and eventually makes you kick his ass because he's just that far out of his damned mind. He's got this high-tech tank armor or some such thing that's pretty much useless. The basic strategy is to make sure the two orbs on the front of the thing never turn red. They've got three colors: blue, yellow, and red. Blue and yellow are safe, but red is when they can use magic attacks. The one on the right uses dispel, which takes wall off. Wall comes in handy since NORG uses strong magic attacks when we break down the door on his armor.

There's supposed to be an explanation here, but it just doesn't make any sense. I would like to say I remember and understand it, but I don't.

Once the fight with NORG is over, it's time to go see Cid in the medical center. He's broken up about what happened with NORG because he had some high idea about fending off the Sorceress, but needed NORG's money to start the thing off. One thing Cid does confirm from NORG's ramblings is that he's married to Edea, who has been the Sorceress her whole life. He knew he was starting a special forces brigade to go kill this person and married her anyway. Beyond that, he says he doesn't want Squall's report because he can guess what happens and says that we need to get the Garden under control before something bad happens. It will soon enough of course, but first, we need to go check out a strange ship that's approaching.

The ship that shows up is the White SeeD ship, crewed by SeeDs that work for Edea. They're coming for somebody named Ellone. She's the same little girl that Laguna was protecting in Winhill last time we saw him. Somehow, she's capable of messing around with time, and was trying to change the past. We've just turned this woman over to somebody we're pretty sure is evil.

After all this stress, Squall has another panic attack and tries to sleep it off in his room. He thinks back to when he was just a wee lad, worrying about a sister or something who was strangely absent. Not sure if she ever factors in again because I've never made it that far in the game. We'll be coming up on the part of the game where I explain why that is soon enough.

For now, though, Rinoa has found her way back to Squall's room again, and has come to wake him up for another walk. We'll get to that next time. Until then, stay safe, have fun, keep gaming, and DFTBA.

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