Wednesday, December 16, 2015

TEXT PLAY: Final Fantasy VIII (SquareSoft, 1999; Playstation): Issue #038: Go!

I was going to make a reference to a Three Stooges movie, but from what I understand of the game, that particular one might make a better title in a couple issues.

Gotta say, I'm really glad that the Diablos GF has an ability that lets me toggle the random battles. It's not so much that I don't like the frequency of the things. I'm a Final Fantasy fan, after all, so having to deal with three million battles while trying to go a short distance is something I can handle, even if it does get tiring sometimes. It's just that in this part of the game, about 90% of those random battles are against the Mesmerize that makes it almost unbearable for me. Makes me think they're Eshtar's equivalent of deer in my home town. Wouldn't be surprised if the local police even have a program for and standing orders to shoot the damn things when they come into town like they do here.

But anyway, once I got the Enc-None ability going, it was all good for getting between Eshtar City and the launch base. And this is where things get a little weird again. The staff at the launch base already has Rinoa stabilized for spaceflight and loaded on the ship. Makes sense, since she's pretty much in a coma or braindead or whatever she was after the Sorceress Entity tried to possess her, and launches like this are hard enough on people who've trained their whole lives for such things. That same staff explains to the rest of the party that Squall and whichever other party member he chooses will be put into cryosleep just like Rinoa for the launch and duration of the flight. Like I said, I know spaceflight is rigorous and all that, but what are we talking here, Interstellar or something? How far away is this space station, anyway? Saturn?

With all that in mind, the last few details to be worked out are who's going with Squall and who's going to be directly responsible for Edea, just to make sure she doesn't get possessed again. Zell seems eager for that second job, so I just gave it to him. If that's a good idea or not, I don't know, but if memory serves, there's special items he gets if he's in charge of the party for this next bit coming up. Of the remaining three party members, I picked Quistis to go with Squall because it just seemed like the most reasonable choice at the time, and they climb into their tubes to go into cryosleep for their flight, which they should be just waking up for the end of.

The launch goes rather well, given that it seems to use the Samurai Pizza Cats method. As those who remained behind talk about how they hope it goes well, Rinoa's dog Angelo looses his shit for some reason. I have the word “his” in italics there because I need a little emphasis. See, when the dog howls and goes running off, Zell wonders what her problem is. Again, italics for emphasis. Maybe there was a translation error at some point, maybe I don't remember what names were and are gender neutral, but I've always thought that Angelo was the male version of Angela, just like Stephen and Stephanie are gendered variants of a base name.

Almost before Zell can finish the sentence, there's a big, earth-rattling rumble that the team has no recourse to go check out. Turns out, the cause was a bigass flying thing that looks like a cross between a Borg cube and the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, so maybe my earlier Interstellar reference isn't so far off. Maybe our heroes are going to Jupiter.

When the party lays eyes on the thing, they realize that it came from roughly the same direction as Eshtar City, and that they should get back there pronto to see of Dr. Odine is safe. And now that I see the last part of that sentence in text on my own computer screen, I find myself wondering why it is that he hasn't already blasted off for the space station himself.

But we'll at least get started on figuring that out next time, folks. Until then, stay safe, have fun, keep gaming, and DFTBA!

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