Sunday, May 3, 2015

TEXT PLAY: Final Fantasy VIII (SquareSoft, 1999; Playstation): Issue #031: Moving Right Along, Then...

Well, at least this game is interesting when things are happening.

Its being any good is still very debatable, but at least it's interesting.

When we last left off, the plan was to go talk to Cid and Edea about finding where the White SeeD Ship might be. She says it might be hiding out in a cove somewhere in the Centra region of this world's map. That's kind of like me telling somebody who asks me about fishing in my home state to “try one of the bays along the river”. It does narrow it down some, because around here, when we say “the river”, we mean the Missouri River, but it's still not much help simply because it divides the state pretty much in half from north to south and then forms the eastern third or so of the border with Nebraska. Essentially, just telling them “the river” still leaves quite a lot of ground to cover, and I really only know much about the little parts around Oahe and Gavins Point Dams.

At least she does give us a letter to show the person in charge of the boat so they can know who we are and why we're there. Given the way things tend to go in this game, it'll be enough. So that leaves us with the trick of actually finding the ship we're looking for.

Calling it a trick is pretty much how it was, too. I just happened to stumble across it as I was trying to get out of the chain of islands to the north of Edea and Cid's wrecked house. Once aboard the ship, I'm reminded again why I get frustrated with these characters. First thing Squall and the party (in this case Quistis and Rinoa) do once they get aboard is find the person in charge and tell him that they've come to see Ellone because Edea wants to see her. This doesn't go well because the ship's crew thinks that Edea's still evil or possessed or whatever, so the guy in charge says no deal and runs off.

Now, why Squall doesn't just give the guy the letter right there, I don't know. Granted, all these characters are in their late teens and early twenties, and I'll admit, I wasn't exactly the sharpest guy ever at that point in my life, either. Hell, it can be argued that not much has changed in the fifteen or twenty years since then. But then again, I wasn't supposed to be a professional soldier at the time, either.

So, anyway the head guy goes running off, and Squall and the others go chasing after him. Just as they're about to catch him again, they run into Zone and Watts again. Couldn't forget about these numbskulls, I guess. Turns out, they've been on the run since we last saw them in Timber. After they'd exhausted all their brilliant escape plans, their last-ditch effort to stay alive was to jump in the ocean and swim for it. Fortunately, they got lucky and came across the White SeeD ship, who brought them aboard and took them on as crew.

Zone has two special items for the party if we found a magazine called Girl Next Door all the way back on Disk One. Talking to him three times on the bridge of the ship will prompt him to notice that you've got it and beg for it. Our options are to tell him no, sell it to him for 25,500 gold, or just give it to him. To get the special items from him, we have to just give it to him. I'll be nice enough to do that just for the rare playing card he's got, though I'm not sure I'll ever use it or the Rename Card for G-Fs he gave me.

In the head guy's room, it turns out that everybody on this ship is the same level fucktard that Zone and Watts are. I'd call him the captain, but that's really not an accurate descriptor for him. Even he admits that, and that there hasn't been an actual commanding officer aboard since Edea got possessed. He then goes on to explain that after we turned Ellone over at Fisherman's Horizon, they'd been trying to find a safe place for her, as far away from Galbadia and Edea as possible, with just about as bad a time of it as they could have. Eventually, the Galbadian navy caught up with them and tried to blow them up in order to get Ellone. Just before that could actually happen, though, a fleet from Esthar showed up and offered to help them. I can understand the mistrust here, as Esthar hasn't exactly been made out to be the best government ever itself, but this is one of those situation where beggars can't really be choosers.

Because I guess she was tired of hanging out on the Ship of the Dumbed, Ellone calls out to a passing Esthar ship before somehow managing to jump aboard. With that, both nationally-sponsored naval fleets just bugger off for some reason. The best assumption anyone can make is that Ellone is in Esthar. Checking that out's gonna be a trick, because we're going to have to find a way to get there. I know it's going to involve getting around the train bridge that makes up Fisherman's Horizon. But getting all that take care of is for the next issue or two, because I know there's at least one other area to get through along the way.

Until then, stay safe, keep gaming, have fun, and DFTBA! And check out this edition of Final Fantasy Tonight for some important information about the near future.

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