Monday, February 2, 2015

TEXT PLAY: Final Fantasy VIII (SquareSoft, 1999; Playstation): Issue #025: Cliff Hanger!

So, when we left off a couple weeks ago, Zell and Irvine needed to find a rope or something to maybe find a way to save Rinoa from the cliff she fell off when Galbadia Garden rammed Balam Garden.

Instead of finding that rope, the boys go find Squall and the others and tell him what happened. Logical thing, right. I can sort of understand why Squall's a bit frustrated with that. The rest of the party's insisting that he go try to save Rinoa personally when he's supposed to be in charge of this battle we've got going on here.

Luckily for Squall, Xu calls him on the intercom and tells him to take a party to the classroom and save some initiates from a unit of Galbadian paratroopers. This gives him a chance to tell Zell to go and at least try to find a damn rope to save Rinoa with while he takes two others to the classroom and the remaining person helps guard the front gate.

They really make a point of showing the flying things the Galbadian troops use as boarding craft. Then again, one will come in handy in a bit. But for now, we've gotta take out four paratroopers and have the senior student take the two initiates there to safety. One of the kids makes it, but the other gets knocked on his ass when Gabadia rams Balam again. Squall and the others have the chance to make sure everybody's all right on their way up to the command deck to have a word with Dr. Kadowaki about how things are going.

Squall admits that they're pretty much fucked against Galbadia because Galbadia's got a full contingent of soldiers while most of Balam's forces are still pretty much cadets in training and initiates, so they may as well go on the offensive and go down trying to turn things in their favor if they've gotta go down. While they discuss that, Zell shows up and says he couldn't even get back into the Quad again, let alone make an attempt at saving Rinoa. Squall seems willing to just let her go so he can focus on getting “his”ship and crew out of danger, but everybody else, including Dr. Kadowaki, talks him into making that one last valiant attempt to save her, saying that they'll go on in without him while he goes after the girl.

While Zell, Quistis, Selphie, and Irvine go to make their charge, Dr. Kadowaki takes Squall to the flight control area so he can give Nida his orders and make a Captain Picard speech to the crew, in hopes of inspiring them enough to make it through the upcoming charge. I guess it works, as Nida says everybody's really fond of Squall now, for some reason.

Once the speech is taken care of and the order to ram Galbadia is given, Squall heads out to go after Rinoa. I don't know what the hell his plan was when he left the command deck, but he gets off the elevator on the second floor and has to save the kid who got knocked on his ass again. Turns out he somehow got separated from the upperclassman who was taking him to safety. Once the kid goes running off, Squall gets a health meter at the bottom of the screen and a Galbadian paratrooper busts in and manages to get a couple shots at Squall before he can do anything. We're given a few options of what to do, but the one we're looking for involves finding the latch to the emergency exit that the kid we just saved was screwing around with earlier. Swear to god, what happens next is something I've seen talked about on What The Fuck Is Wrong With You? at least once in recent months.

Triggering the emergency exit makes this big inflatable slide shoot out of an airlock, and both Squall and the paratrooper go tumbling down and out for a daring midair fight. For the life of me, I could not figure this one out, even with the strategy guide. Part of what took me so long with this is that I kept messing this part up, not realizing how easy and cheap getting through this really was. You've just gotta block all the trooper's attacks until Squall's given the opportunity to sucker punch his opponent. If and when it connects, all it takes after that is a couple swift kicks to the jimmy to get the trooper out of his personal aircraft so Squall can use it to go rescue Rinoa.

And because this run of luck just has to keep going for our heroes, Squall pulls it off. Once the pair is safely to the entrance of Galbadia Garden, they have a “tender moment.” They're still not quite ready to face the fact that they at least want to fuck, if they're not actually in love.

As they go along the main entryway, the rest of the party comes along, all happy because he proved them right in thinking he could save her. And we have to pick a party to go into the rival garden with. We're pretty much stuck with Squall and Rinoa for now, so I'm going to put Selphie in the third slot because she needs a few levels, really, and she's got a “Full Cure All” option in her limit break, which seems like it could come in handy now.

Since we're also at a save point and I've got a busy day ahead of me as I write this, here's where I'm going to stop for awhile. Hopefully not for two weeks again, but for a couple days, I'm sure. So, until then, stay safe, have fun, keep gaming, and remember, folks, don't jerk and drive!

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