Thursday, November 20, 2014

TEXT PLAY: Final Fantasy VIII (SquareSoft, 1999; Playstation): Issue #018: Party Like It's 1955...

So, basically, while we're waiting for the techs from Fisherman's Horizon to finish up the work on Balam Garden, Selphie decides she wants to have a concert in the Quad. This is what Irvine was asking Squall about having them fix when they were talking on the way back, and why they're going to go see her there. Meanwhile, Cid has decided to promote Squall to mission commander or something for the war against Sorceress Edea.

While Cid fills Squall in on that, Selphie and the others get to work on the concert. The strategy guide I bought with the game on one of the multiple times I bought this game suggested two songs: an Irish jig and a slow dance. I went with the slow dance because I was going to go with a title like the one I did.

Just as a brief aside here, yes I did say I purchased this game multiple times. That's because, for the longest time, I kept getting it and losing it for various reasons. Up until about 2005, it was because I had hoped it would actually be a good game. Since then, it's been more for completion's sake. That's kind of the same reason I have Origins and Chronicles or whichever one has the re-releases of Final Fantasy 4 and Chrono Trigger on it.

Anyway, when Cid tells Squall that he's in charge of the Edea mission, he freaks the hell out, and in this case, I really can't blame the guy. The thing about Squall is that he's got some growing up to do, still, regardless of how long he may or may not have left to live. I'm tempted to think that he wouldn't be that bad a guy under different circumstances, but as is, he's clearly not ready to even be in charge of himself, and everybody insists upon putting him in charge of things that would be big for anybody.

On top of getting a promotion that he's nowhere near ready for, part of Selphie's little concert plan is to hook Squall up with Rinoa. And I've got another reason to sympathize with Squall for a change. Not only has the poor bastard been roped into a party he doesn't want to go to, he's been sent there on a date with a crush he hasn't been able to admit to anyone yet, not even himself. I know these are all supposed to be teenagers and everything, but none of them think, even for a second, that this might be a bad idea?

Part of the reason I can relate to Squall here is because high school for me was kind of like this whole Garden thing seems for Squall. Sure, I had my classmates, acquaintances, and perhaps even friends while I was there, and even a few kinda-sorta crushes that never really got brought up until years later. At least one of them even sort of knows who they are now. The thing is, though, for me, the group of people I was part of kind of knew I was the weird guy around the place. Not necessarily bad or mean or creepy or anything, just not one of the ones who got invited to parties and the like very often, and fortunately, I think, never hooked up on dates. I can only speak for myself here, but I was always OK with that. Still am, really.

Anyway, after about three hours of rehearsals, the concert begins. It's being held in the dish section of FH, which makes me wonder what the deal was with getting the Quad fixed. Must have still been in progress. Selphie, Irvine, Zell, and Quistis are the band while Rinoa tries to get Squall to open up to them. Naturally, it doesn't go well, but that's as much because of the plan and the people who made it as anything. Admittedly, it was a shit plan, and Selphie and the others probably shouldn't have gone through with it, but that still doesn't excuse Squall being an asshole about it, either. There's even a point when he tries to punch Rinoa for all of this, for which she shoves him off a ledge and tells him he needs to be more open with them, which eventually makes Squall tell her to go fuck herself before he goes sulking back off to his quarters in Garden.

The next morning, Quistis, Xu, and somebody named Nida call Squall up to the command deck to tell him that they've been given the go-ahead to start piloting the Garden around. Nida says he (or she, I'm not really sure which) says the FH techs showed him how to work the controls so there'd be at least one person there who knows how. It's a pain to figure out, but I think I've got it. Nida also claims to have been in Squall's graduating class, but Squall says he doesn't recognize them. I can understand that. I probably wouldn't recognize half the people from my high school home room after the almost twenty years its been since then, either.

Our destination is the town of Balam, but that's for next issue, so that's where I'll pick up next time. See you then.

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