Part 42: Rocket Town, Part IIChapter 42 - Rocket Town, Part 2
Back to the normal schedule.
It all becomes kinda pointless once you rule the world.
Although really, you could just go out and... rule other worlds.
It's an interesting point, though, the technological level at this game.
It's hard to pinpoint exactly how would the technology in this game compare to ours.
They've got cellphones, they've got cars, but people don't use them much. There are no visible roads outside of Midgar, probably because the economy is so fucked up that no one has the money to afford (or to maintain) a car.
And even if you pay a lot of attention, cars are only owned by people who have or have had some influence. Cid was going to be the first man in space - he owns a car. You get to see a van in Costa Del Sol, but it's being used to sell things. No one who owns a car is actually using it, and the roads in Midgar are unfinished.
I love these little details. They're important but I find it incredibly missing in games nowadays. And movies, and modern books.
It's an extension of "show, don't tell". I find modern "cinematic" RPGs specially guilty of this, shoving me with way too much text I could not care less about.
Cid and Shera's relationship is one of the most abusive relations I've ever seen in a game.
Of course, it pales in comparison with the dating sim in SWTOR, but it's probably the only relationship that has resulted in me making a special rule in the OP to avoid more probations being handled. Don't talk about it.
This is one of the most iconic moments in FF7. I think everyone who's played the game is bound to remember Cid telling Cloud to drink his goddamn TEA.
It's not even the first time we see someone like this in the game. Barret was like this in Midgar, then he calmed down.
It is, nevertheless, quite shocking to see someone being abused like this.
If you think about it, our party is almost entirely comprised of extreme sociopaths.
Sure, you can maybe make an exception for Aeris, but she literally hears voices, so I'm not sure she's sane either.
Talking about Aeris, some stronger reactions to this scene:
I don't know what that means but it sounds painful.
I mean, seriously, let's take a look at this, for fun. Because we're in for a flashback, and I hate flashbacks most of the time (yes, replaying FF7 and going through Kalm is always a pain).
Cloud starts by saying he doesn't care about no one or the planet, only his money. He's willing to let go of his only childhood friend left. His job is to kill people and blow things up.
Once he found out about another sociopathic murderer, he changes his life goal to pursue him. He has no friends and doesn't remember his life.
Tifa worked with hardcore criminals for no real reason. She has nobody either besides a very friendzoned childhood friend.
She's downright lying about things and keeping us/Cloud in the dark. She has an unhealthy attachment to Cloud.
I don't think Barret needs any explanation. Seriously.
Yuffie is a girl we literally found wandering forests alone far away from civilization, lurking to find people to steal from.
Talking about unhealthy attachments, she seems to be obsessed with materias and has no restraint in speaking her mind.
What the fuck is Cait Sith? The sole reason for him to be in our party is because he read to us that we're gonna lose something important and wanted to see that happen, while permanently dressed up in a moggle costume. I mean, do I need to go further?
Red XIII is probably the most psychologically-adjusted member of our team, and he's a one-eyed cat with daddy issues.
Aeris can hear voices, and she walks with people who are willing to believe she can hear voices instead of offering her psychiatric therapy.
She also insists in saying that she's the last of a race, even though she looks completely human.
Let's not even get into Wall Market.
Vincent is a dude who deliberately locked himself inside a coffin in the depths of a creepy abandoned mansion to have nightmares. Before doing that, his job was being a Turk, who are famous for:
1) Being shady overall
Overall, I'd say that our group consists of pretty fucked up people, so Cid is going to fit nicely while we look for Sephiroth.
While we're at it, let's talk a bit about Shera.
Shera is another person who could use some (a lot) psychological help.
She has extremely low self-esteem.
Is effectively wife (and they never even married) to a guy who's abusive to her.
I was gonna say "has complete dettachment from reality" but hell, let's call her downright suicidal.
I think her character makes more sense in the context of the Asian culture. It's a weird criticism/reflection of meritocracy meets someone with low self-worth.
But I digress. I'm talking too much here. Let's focus on the story at hand.
This is a very intense scene in the game, even though you already know how it ends.
And in the end, Cid did the right thing, at the cost of his dreams.
We see a quick CG animation of the rocket trying to lift, then falling back to the ground and tilting.
Let's see if we can extract a real world lesson from this.
In psychology, Shera is someone who's victimised. You probably know a very famous form of victimisation, known as stockholm syndrome.
Victimisation is a serious issue that can happen from a wild range of factors. It can come from being neglected as a child to being bullied to being harassed at work to environmental/social pressures. It can be tied to either depression or PTSD.
As the name implies, someone who's victimised tend to have their self-images permanently defined as those of a victim per-se. The common trait is that the person see themselves as more vulnerable -
Which is an evolutionary adaptive trait. For example, if you're robbed you might start feeling yourself more vulnerable. This is evolutionarily desirable (because it means you're now less prone to wandering alone or around the places you've been robbed, so you're more safe), but is an obvious decrease in the quality-of-life, which is an important thing to worry.
In the case of Shera, this is taken to extremes, to the point where a person like her would obviously need a lot of help.
The group of negative traits that come from victimisation (among other psychological problems) can be called dehumanisation. Again, the name if self-explanatory. Shera is dehumanised because she sees herself as a tool, an object. She doesn't see her life as being worthy living and is consistent in exposing her extremely negative self-image.
That's extremely superficial psychology 101 knowledge though that someone with more knowledge than me can expand. Let's get back to the game because I'm astraying again.
Talking about victimisation, shouldn't Palmer be freaking out from seeing us here?
Palmer: "Hey-hey! I don't know. The President's outside, so why don't you ask him?"
Palmer: "Don't say 'fat'!"
Clearly, Palmer could use some of Swole Personal Training.
No good sir. This dude wearing a SOLDIER uniform, bizarre spiked blonde hair and giant sword looks nothing like the criminals who held you in the Shinra HQ during the most hardcore event from your life.
Well, let's see.
I am confused. Doesn't Shinra have giant Airships in Junon and Helicopters?
Talking about airships, this is interesting.
Burn the land, boil the sea...
Actually, it makes sense if you think they've been following Sephiroth the same way we are, and they just ended up here like us. Since they're just here, might as well take the bronco instead of waiting for the airship to come.
Although it doesn't make sense that they don't have an air transport. Maybe the helicopter ran out of fuel? I don't know. No one knows. So many blanks to be filled.
I like Rufus.
I think he's an interesting villain.
He's not a super-genius and is not particularly competent, but he sure as hell tries to be, and is painfully aware of how everyone around him are complete idiots.
Why, this can't possibly go wrong!
A maaan's gotta do what a maaan's gotta do.
Palmer is not a proper boss fight. He's more or less a joke/tension relief fight instead.
I show you the [Odin] Materia we hadn't seen yet and the Enemy Skill [Trine] we just got, in case you're interested in seeing. Otherwise, there's really not much to see - half of Palmer's actions are actually doing animations instead of attacking.
Oh yes, I also show the main reason why Aeris is overpowered. I don't think I had shown yet. Her Limit Planet Protector.
I'd like to point that he's not easy in a "easy because I'm obliterating the game mechanics", but easy as in intentionally easy. It's pretty much impossible to get a game over here. You can just auto-attack and outdamage him. He's easier than the first bosses from Midgar and we just finished two of the hardest bosses in the game (Materia Keeper and Lost Number), so do the math.
R.I.P. Palmer. We're not gonna miss you.
Our reward is the [Edincoat]. The Edincoat is an armor with 7 unlinked materia slots and a lot of Def and MDef (which is useless), plus a hidden bonus to Magic.
I don't know why it lifts off either. Don't look at me.
Run, you beautiful bastard.
Heeere I a-aaaaam.
And you're a rocket queen, oh yea.
In case you've been wondering about where to go from the last city in the continent, the obvious answer is stealing a plane and flying.
Or try to, because we can't have nice things.
It's time for uncomfortable tea time with Cid.
Cid: "Dunno. I'm history with the Shinra and I've given up on the town."
A Gentleman and a Scholar.
It's NOT LIKE I HAVE ANY OTHER OPTION!
Ok, get ready, because this is good.
Gentlemen, this is our crew. Our group is complete.
Did I hear it right? Are we supposed to go to the [TEMPLE OF THE ANCIENTS]?
Well, I'm anxious to know more about this [TEMPLE OF THE ANCIENTS].
And we just got ourselves a boat! The Tiny Bronco gives us a shitload of accessibility through shallow waters. While this may seem (and is) like a clever attempt to block our mobility this early in the game, you can cover almost the entirety of the map with it, even going back as far as Midgar.
Sounds like we're going to this [TEMPLE OF THE ANCIENTS] then.
However, there's still something missing. Let's backtrack a bit, shall we?
Sure! This doesn't sound fishy at all! I can't possibly see why not!
WE GO WEST! Still nowhere close to the end of Disc 1! JESUS CHRIST HOW LONG IS THIS GAME?
New Years Resolution:
Don't start any stupid discussion on Cid and learn the difference between then/than and your/you're, and the next updates are coming much faster. It's a 2012 miracle!