Friday, November 14, 2014

TEXT PLAY: Final Fantasy VIII (SquareSoft, 1999; Playstation): Issue #017: Gone Fishin'

God damn it, was nobody trying to figure out the controls for the Garden?

I mean, sure, they only just found out the damned thing could fly maybe a day or two ago, but holy shit, was nobody even up in Cid's office, at least making an effort to figure this out?

Granted, it's not like anybody stood much of a chance of stopping the inevitable, but it would have been nice if there had at least been an effort made to keep this fancy new ship from crashing into something. But, crash it does, and from the looks of things, there wasn't anybody even pretending to look at the helm controls on this thing when it happened. Sure, Cid was up in his office at the time, but he was too busy yapping away about how things were under control because the PA system had been fixed.

So now that we've pulled a Mike Nelson and rammed our nice new flying machine into the docks on an ocean rig of some sort called Fisherman's Horizon, it's up to Squall, Qusitis and Rinoa to go to the mayor's office and apologize on behalf of Balam Garden. Most of the folks in FH, as the locals call the place, seem to want Squall and the others gone quickly as possible on account of the fact that they're all pacifists there and don't like the idea of military sorts like us running around. They reason that such a presence will only attract trouble. In this case, they'd be right, but we'll get to that in a bit.

On the way to the mayor's house, where he holds all his meetings, it seems that Squall's got the attention span of a gnat and can't remember people he just met at most two minutes ago. When he and the others step out onto the landing gantry, the first people they meet tell them that they don't allow fighting in town. It's that bit of foreshadowing I mentioned just now. These people will show up down the way as the people who run the lift between the dock and the town proper with their names listed as Familiar Face, Familiar Face #2, and Familiar Face #3, and Squall says he doesn't know who they are when we talk to them what can't be more than five minutes later.

The mayor, a dude named Dobe, gets right to the point and explains how they want the Garden and SeeD gone ASAP, and are even willing to send over some techs to help fix things and explain how the controls work for us. His aid or wife or something, a lady named Flo, helps a bit.

Squall says he'll go tell Cid all this, and as soon as the party leaves, Quistis says she thinks the whole experience was unpleasant. Squall tells her that they can't expect everybody to be happy to see them as they climb back out of the central dish that the mayor's place was in.

We can also find Martine hanging out by the mayor's place. He says he got banished from Galbadia Garden and is ashamed of himself for having to take charity from the good folks at FH. On the one hand, I can't really blame him, but then again, given his situation, it's all he's got and really shouldn't be embarrassed.

On the way up, the party hears a scream as Galbadian soldiers show up, looking for Ellone. Dobe says he's going to go talk to their leader in an effort to talk him out of doing whatever it is he came to do. The leader says he's going to torch the city regardless of if Dobe turns Ellone over, so his protestations that he doesn't know anything about her don't really matter. With that in mind, when the option to go in and kick some ass comes up, I do so and rescue the mayor.

Of course, the same tank boss that Selphie and her team fought at the missile base shows up right after that and can really beat the shit out of Squall's team. Like so many of the monsters in this part of the game, it has the protect and shell spells, and since it's a boss, the Stop spell as well. Once that gets beaten down, it blows up one last time and rolls back off the edge of FH, giving Selphie and team just enough time to jump out before it splashes down into the sea. Why the hell they couldn't stop the tank from blasting the hell out of their own team, I'm not sure.

Squall's happy to see the other half of his party come back alive and it shows. After he sends them back to the Garden, in theory to debrief with Cid, Rinoa flirts with him a bit, saying that it's cute that he couldn't hide his true feelings for once.

Since one of the instructions Cid gave was to look around the place, I did for a bit. I don't know if it's because I got the stuff for it at some point or that I used a Weapons Monthly mag I found, but the weapons shop I found would have let me upgrade most everybody's weapons, even if I didn't have the items for it.

There's also a standard items shop, which is good, because I really needed to stock up on a few things after that last boss fight. One thing I'm hoping to find is a specialty shop for Guardian Forces. There's an item called Amnesia Greens that will make the summoned beasts forget some of the abilities they've learned, which comes in handy right about now, since some of those abilities start to become redundant as they advance. Usually, these are percentage bonuses for certain stats. I'll just have to look for that later.

As Squall makes his way back to the Garden, he runs into Irvine, who asks if it would be OK to have the FH repair crews fix things other than the Garden's control systems. Squall says that it would be fine as long as Irvine doesn't go overboard with it. Why Squall's the guy to ask about that, I don't know. I can understand him being the leader of the playable party, but how he's in charge of the Garden as a whole, I'm not sure. We'll get to a point where he is soon enough, but that's not quite yet.

Irvine also mentions that Selphie's feeling a bit down, and a few well placed words from Squall, who is at least leader of the team, might cheer her up again. She's hanging out at the stage she was setting up for the Garden Festival before, in the Quad. But that'll be for next time. Until then, stay safe, have fun, keep gaming, and DFTBA!

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