Well, I guess I'll be getting back to Final Fantasy VIII soon.
While I was goofing around with my run through Mystic Quest, I came to the conclusion that while I'm not exactly what one might call enthused, particularly, to finish Final Fantasy 8, I've got like 65 or 70 hours into it at this point, which is a little more than I want to walk away from, especially since my understanding is that I'm actually reasonably close to finishing the game anyway. That really doesn't say much, of course, since I'd actually been farther into the game by midway through the second disk. And since I am this far into the game, I may as well make the effort to finish it, just so I can say I have.
So, where was I when I left off? Well, as of this writing, I haven't checked my notes yet, but if memory serves, I was in Eshtar, just before Squall and gang blasts off for the space station in an effort to get Rinoa free of the Sorceress. I had been trying to get the Doomtrain GF, but that plan seems to be one that'll need to wait for awhile. I know it's possible to get some of these things closer to the end of the game, and that some of the later ones are pretty good, starting with Doomtrain. Thing is, though, these may be like all of the summons that Rydia can get after she joins the party the second time in Final Fantasy 4, or a reasonably substantial portion of the Espers in 6, in that I'm pretty sure that we don't actually need them to finish the game even though they're nice to have. I just get them because I like to have an excuse to level grind in those games.
As I'm sure I've said before about 8, though, it's a game that pretty much broke the mold from the rest of the series and made the standard mode of level grinding I'm used to a bad thing. That's because all the monsters, be they regular monsters or bosses, have their levels tied to Squall's. With that in mind, the higher his level is, the higher theirs are, and the harder the game is. To counter that, the game's setup lets us tie magic to stats, and the more able we are to do that, the easier the rest of the game will be. Or that's the theory, anyway.
So, anyway, the plan right now is to try to advance the plot a little bit here and then try for some of these other GF monsters later on. I'm not sure how well that's going to work out, of course, because I know the game changes things up somehow once we finish off this plot point I'm going for. I may not be able to pull that off, of course, but we'll see. I know some of these variant summons have decent abilities that might have been useful earlier in the game. Maybe not Doomtrain, but I know for sure that the Tonnberry King one does, and the Jumbo Cactuar one might also, but I can't say for sure, as I've never used them myself.
The plan as of right now is to get on with that in the very near future. See you soon with another issue of FF8, all.