Well, the Galbadians, anyway.
This is one of those things where I really must wonder if it's wrong for me to have wanted this part to be harder than it actually was. I was certainly expecting it to be harder than it was, considering that I've never played this part of the game before.
Basically what happens is that when we go to see Doctor Odine, his lab assistant is there to meet us at the door of the lab and says the good doctor is in a good mood for a change. I guess it's because he's got Rinoa as a test subject, and on top of that this Borg Cube-O-Lith, officially known as Lunatic Pandora, gives him a real boner, too. At first, Odine tries to explain just what this thing is, but Zell tells him it can wait, because the thing that needs to come first is how to get on so we can stop it from doing whatever it's going to do.
Odine explains that the Cube-O-Lith is going to fly over the city on its way to a place called Tears' Point, and we'll have three chances to get aboard. The first is in the center of the city; the second is at an unspecified intersection on the east side; the third is in the area of the shopping center.
What made me think this would be difficult is that this is a timed quest with random encounters, and I'd left those on because I hadn't known much better in spite of having the strategy guide on the living room table. Not that I have any reason to think having the Enc-None ability turned on, given that this is a plot point we're talking about here, with Galbadian soldiers and all. At least I could escape from any fights I got into.
But I made it to the first boarding point and got into the Cube-O-Lith on the first try. I kind of feel like I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth when I say that part of it was way easier than I thought it would be.
Onboard the Cube-O-Lith, the party finds a long staircase that leads up to what looks like the set of the game show Let's Make A Deal, complete with doors marked 1, 2 and 3. Once I'd adjusted some magic around so I could at least try to use some of the draw points and fought a couple battles, I chose door number one. Behind it is an elevator that lead to one of the passages that Laguna and his buddies were exploring all the way back on Disk One, I think it was, which was a loooong time ago now, both in in-game time and real-world time. There was a convenient save point that I made use of, because there was a fork in the road just after that, with one path going forward and another going right. At first, I was going to go right, but then I changed my mind and went for the path that went straight ahead.
Turns out that was a bad idea, because the path that went forward lead to what at first had me fooled into thinking it was a boss fight but turned out to be a Zell Ejector sort of thing that booted the party off this flying thing over Tears' Point. Whatever the purpose of Lunatic Pandora is, and why it needed to go to that specific place to do it, we were about to find out, but I decided that instead of just advancing the plot that quickly right now, I'd just not and go back to that save point I mentioned before to see what happens when I go right from there instead of going forward.
That's where we'll pick up next time, folks. Until then, stay safe, have fun, keep gaming, and DFTBA!