The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy VIII

by Cool Ghost

Part 3: Part Three: Information Dump "Daze"

Part Three: Information Dump "Daze"

Okay, so, here we are outside the classroom.

But, let's take a step back before that. Like I mentioned earlier, there's some good info here that's easily missed.

Let's start with a tutorial about tutorials, just in case you've never encountered the word before.

There are a couple things in the tutorial menu that are important, with this being one of them. The "Information" sub-menu is a place where lore lives. We're not going to go over it right now, and you may never actually see a screen of the contents. But it's there.

If we back out to the top menu and choose the message from the garden festival committee, we get to read this.

But in the end, there was no Garden Festival. That's 'cause no one volunteered to help out. But I only have myself to blame. I thought I could pull it off. I'll be starting a new life, but I sincerely hope someone will take over the Garden Festival committee!

Good-bye Balamb Garden!
Wimbly Donner

The important thing here is that whoever wrote this is named Wimbly, possibly the nerdiest name you could have.

In addition to the few actual interesting/salient tidbits on the computer, there is a fucking ton of bullshit that there is no reason to give one fuck about.

Like, a fucking ton. There's a blurb for every one of these things.

Did you want to know about Balamb Garden's admission policies? Here ya go, have fun.

Here's a bit on the administration of Balamb Garden. Now you know the headmaster's name.

Some important lore lives here that makes a couple things clearer.

'Para-magic' was developed by Dr. Odine. He was the first scientist to research the nature of magic by studying a sorceress.

Finally, an RPG where we cast science instead of magic.

This skill can be gained through proper training. However, with magic, it is difficult to achieve power levels that are comparable to conventional weapons.

Using magic is pretty situational in this game, and there are honestly more reasons not to do it than there are to do it.

Correction: In a previous update, I stated that GF stood for "Gameplay Feature". This should have read "Guardian Forces".

Also, when I read that line about not being proven, I take it more as "inconvenient for Garden to admit". It's an interesting tidbit, I think.

"What's a sorceress? A woman who has a sorceress's powers, fuck off."

Hyne is an allusion to Hein from Final Fantasy III, which is my personal favourite FF game.

Here's the first seed of a sidequest: nick somebody's library reservations.

Also on the study computer, we can find the Balamb Garden forums, where the first post is one of those Trepie fucks.

All forums are shit.

This page contains characterisation - Almasy is Seifer's last name, and like I said, he's the head of the disciplinary committee.

Hot dogs are of vital importance to the world of Final Fantasy VIII.

Whoever Z.D. is, it looks like they're taking today's exam. Maybe we'll run into them.

And now we're done with the computer!

Back to the hallway!

On our way to leave, we run into someone who tears ass directly into Squall's chest. Doesn't she know he almost died this morning? Have a little fuckin' respect, eh?

Come on, he's not that bad looking.

Squall isn't a silent protagonist by any stretch, but I feel like this early bit of the game has more dialogue choices than FF games usually do.

This is a 100% good manners run.

If you're not polite, she has a brain aneurysm and just dies. That's why you should always be polite.

No shit.

In a Hurry: Oh yeah! Hey, did you just come from that class?

There are no other doors in this hallway.

In a Hurry: Is...... homeroom over? Woo, oh nooo...

Hey, don't worry, she didn't actually teach anything.

In a Hurry: This place is soooo much bigger than my last Garden!

If you read all the lore, you know which garden she was in last.

In a Hurry: Oh, hey, hey. I just transferred here. Do you think you could give me a quick tour of this Garden?

You get a choice on this one, but like I said:

This is a 100% good manners run.

The girl is very excited to hear this. You know, I think that student orientation is the one thing that the computer doesn't cover.

"Can you give me a tour?"
"I can show you a map."

Now we have the girl following us around.

It's not required, but talking to this guy is a good idea.

See, he gives you cards.

Playing cards is generally pretty easy.

I think this is the first Final Fantasy game that had a minigame like this that just spanned the whole world.

It's true, he doesn't.

Anyway, cards: cards are one of the keys to completely breaking the game. I won't be doing that, but I'll try to show off some of the good shit you can get from cards.

The cards he gives you suck, though. Boo bad cards.

Mr. Cards: And you still haven't gone to the Fire Cavern? Are you just taking it easy?

If you answer like a cool guy, he thinks you're cool.

The other option is to answer like a stoner, which just confuses him.

Now for the elevator. First floor, progress!

The elevator gets its own special camera angle on the first floor.

"You've been shown it."

Sure is, Squall.

I always get lost like an asshole in this place, I don't know why. It's not hard to find your way. Maybe I'm just an asshole.

In a Hurry: I have a question! How do you use this?

As much as I'd like to make fun of her for not understanding maps, she's actually talking about the directory's fast travel system.

: Move the cursor and press X to select.

In a Hurry: Yes, sir!

: A majority of the students live in the dorms. There aren't too many who commute.

The reason nobody commutes to Garden is probably because there's only one town on the entire continent.

In a Hurry: Yeah, I'm in the dorms, too!

Wait, you live here and you don't even know your way around?

: You can rest and change in there.

You can rest and change anywhere if you're not a prude.

You can rest and change in there.

: There's always a big rush for the hot dogs. You better get used to waiting in line.

In Japan, these were not hot dogs, but ホットドッグ.
They were actually flavoured breads.

In a Hurry: Got it!

Finally, we talk about an exciting part of Garden.

: We usually take the Garden car when a mission comes up.

Why do they even need a parking lot if nobody commutes?

: (That's right... I have to go meet Instructor Trepe at the front gate.)

This is mildly interesting because it shows how formal Squall considers his relationship with Quistis.

In a Hurry: Hm? What's the matter?
: Nothing...

He's mad that he won't get free time.

Garden uses a radical new quad philosophy of placing it a) indoors and b) not in a central area. Call me old-fashioned, but I'm a quad traditionalist.

: There's an event being planned there...
In a Hurry: I know! I know! It's the Garden Festival! It's going to be great! I'm planning to be on the committee. You wanna help out, too!?

Well, someone's excited for the Garden Festival.

: Let's just continue.

Hint: it's not Squall.

You can go there when some asshole sticks a sword in your skull.

: This is where you get treated for your injuries, but a lot of students just come here for advice.

What the hell goes on at Garden that you need to go to the infirmary for advice?

In a Hurry: What's the doctor's name?
: Doctor Kadowaki.

The East Block-West Block feuds are famous at Garden.

Look, if you get sick and it's after nine, you can fuckin' wait for morning.

: It's used for training, and they have real monsters running loose there.

Look, if you go to the one place that's open late and get fucked up by monsters, you can fuckin' wait for morning.

: If you don't take it seriously, you may end up dead. Just be careful.

Who the hell allowed that to be built? Even just from an economic standpoint, it's bad if your students are killed.

In a Hurry: (gulp)...Okay.

There are also monsters in the library, to toughen up the nerds.

: There's a lot of material you can look up here, but the terminals in the classroom are a lot more efficient.

You can't even get a GF from a book. That's some ass-backward shit.

Garden, being a school big enough to have dorms, has only one classroom.

In a Hurry: Yep, I remember that one.
: By the way, the headmaster's office is located on the 3F. You need permission to get in.
In a Hurry: Another question. What's the headmaster's name?
: Headmaster Cid.

Wouldn't that make him Headmaster Headmaster Cid? Someone's parents were fucking astute as hell.

In a Hurry: Got it!

And that's the whole tour. Now we know about Garden.

: Yeah.
In a Hurry: Then maybe I'll see you again, later. I've already finished my training at my previous Garden. I'm taking the SeeD exam today, too. Good luck to both of us, huh! Thanks a lot!

Having been enlightened about the Garden's layout, she heads off to... let's say the library.

And we get to check out this weird globe.

It's a save point! That's as good a place to wrap it up as any!

Next time: maybe the Fire Cavern.