The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy VIII

by Cool Ghost

Part 4: Part Four: Exploring Balamb Garden

Part Four: Exploring Balamb Garden

So, here we are, in the front hallway of Balamb Garden. We could just head out and meet Quistis at this point, and there's no reason not to, but let's have a real look around, first. It's a pretty nice place, and I like it. I think this game has some pretty good towns in general, actually.

Well, first first, let's rename some GFs: Quetzalcoatl, whose missing letters I always forget, becomes QuesoCola.

And Shiva becomes IcyNips.

I also do some control wrangling, because: a, FFVIII has a weird control setup where circle opens the menu and triangle is cancel and I hate it; b, the way the controller inputs resolve means that I can't escape battles if I leave the input as the default (R2 & L2 together), so I have to remap it.

Now we can finally get around to hassling people.

lol squall's id ends in 69

Garden Faculty: And you're making Instructor Trepe wait! What are you still doing here!?

I'm not letting her take my free time away.

I hope that works out for you.

Balamb Garden has a lot of hallways, and I think some of them are pretty nice looking. That's right, I'm secretly the most boring person on Earth.

This guy doesn't shy away from the controversy.

This guy just thinks Squall is stupid.

Library Girl with a Pigtail: And also... 4. Avoid late returns. 5. No fighting over seats. I have to go over the library rules with the children, next period. I'm very nervous. I hope they understand...

Fuck your rules!

A+ Student: So what happened to this sorceress? Did someone overthrow the sorceress? Did we learn about this in class? I think I cut class that day, so, like, I have no idea what this sorceress is about.

Good luck with pumping gas, my dude.

Hey, what's that purple sparkly thing?


(We'll cover draw points in a bit.)

Literati: Kinda like the one that girl with a pigtail recommended. That romance novel was pretty good.

Do you mean the library staffer? It would be pretty shitty of her to recommend a book that isn't in the library.

Waiting Girl: I'll get in trouble if she doesn't come back soon.

This is a yawn.

Needs Coffee: I have a test comin' up. It's actually a make-up test. It's the worst, man... I'm the only one takin' it.

The exams at Balamb Garden are apparently very difficult.

I think you'll be okay.

Can't Count: There's always a lot of people in the reading room. And not everyone's there to read books, either!

Students at Balamb Garden are apparently so boring that they just go to the library to hang out.

This is the most interesting thing in the library, by far. There are several types of magazine you can collect in Final Fantasy VIII, and Occult Fan is probably the most important of all of them.

Where else are you going to get hard-hitting journalism like this?

Our next destination: the training centre.

Oh, hey guys, what's up?

Oh. Hm.

Yeah, this seems to be more my speed.

Wait, no, this is stupid.

Jesus Christ, be careful where you're running.

Let's run together.

Oh hey, talkin' 'bout the SeeD exam?

Yeah, that's cool, I'm just gonna stand here and listen.

Hope you don't mind.

Hm, yeah, you should get on that. You don't want to end up taking a whole 'nother term just for one class or something.

Oh, well, I guess maybe you guys aren't as old as I thought.

Well, anyway, nice talking to you.

This is Squall's room. Pretty, uh, sparse, isn't it?

"Hi, I'm Squall Leonhart and this is my crib."

If you're an attentive viewer, you can see that Squall has taken off the bandages he had on in the infirmary. He actually doesn't have them after that first hallway scene with Quistis. You can also see the scar he got from Seifer here.

Fuck you, Quistis, I'm going to have my free time.

This is Squall's roommate's room. You cannot be an asshole and sleep in his bed. Fuck this game, 0/10.

Oh man I never noticed that guy there until just now. My 100% hassling run, ruined...

Walking into the cafeteria, we're treated to a fun little scene with Seifey Seifs and the Funky Disciplinary Committee.

What's up, guys?

Fujin: ...IGNORE.

In Japanese, Fujin spoke only using kanji, which was translated into English like this. I feel like it doesn't really work in English, and I don't know a lot of Japanese, but I feel like it wouldn't go super well in that language, either.

Seifer: .........

Oh, you know, just sayin' hi.

Hey, Raijin. What's goin' on?

Raijin: Oh yeah, Fujin's gonna treat, ya know? Want somethin'?

Raijin's vocal quirk is that he uses the tag question "ya know" a lot. It's a lot less weird and stilted than Fujin's whole thing.

Fujin does not like people offering things on her behalf.

So she kicks Raijin in the shin.

Raijin: !!!!!!!!! Ahh...Ouuu...Ahh...

Hey Seifer, kiss my ass.

Hot dogs are very popular in the Balamb Garden cafeteria.

I feel like Balamb Garden has a lot of people, and it conveys the scale of its population better than a lot of places in RPGs.

I'd rather not check out anything associated with the Trepies.

Friend of Trepe Groupie #1: This guy used to be the cream of the crop. Now look at him... All over one woman.

We can also talk to the Trepie for this creepy soliloquy.

Trepe Groupie #1: I cannot sleep at night thinking of your radiating beauty... That is why I am always falling asleep in class... sinful you are...

Yes, this is established.

SeeD Hopeful #2: I choked last time... I was way too nervous.
SeeD Hopeful #1: At least you made it to the field exam! I can't even pass my written test yet!

I just want to point out that Squall isn't talking to any of these people, he's just standing there, listening to their conversation and staring at them. Squall is cool like that.

SeeD Hopeful #2: I guess you're not as smart as I am.
SeeD Hopeful #1: Yeah, right! You're in study hall today, too!
SeeD Hopeful #3: am I... I guess we all just suck.

This is a line that wouldn't work in a game with voice acting. In fact, the whole SeeD thing wouldn't work out loud.

SeeD Hopeful #2: SaaaaaaaaaD...
SeeD Hopeful #3: Sad people like us, all we do is complain in the cafeteria... SaaaaaaaaaD...

Well, good luck with that, guys.

The quad is kind of nice.

Well, I understand the theory of a piano, if you consider that to be playing an instrument.

You can't actually initiate dialogue with the girl, she only talks when she runs into Squall.

I see you also took the long way around to the quad, then.

How the fuck did that happen? You don't even know how to get to class.

Transfer Student: It's my dream to form my own band.

There's a girl roller-skating over here, but you can't talk to her.

Transfer Student: Of course I'll need four people... Wanna join?

Unfortunately, we cannot join the band.

Well, I guess that explains how the transfer student got a position.

Garden Festival Committee Information Weekly: That transfer student seems to be really enthusiastic about it, but...

If we go talk to the transfer student by the stage, we get the chance to blow her off.

This is non-canon.

Remember, this is a 100% good manners run.

We cannot join the Garden Festival committee right now.

The quad is a very safe place to be.

Classic play, if you're sick.

Hey, thanks, buddy.

Not really, I just don't want to talk to Quistis. She'll make me do stuff. I hate that.

Dr. Kadowaki: Oh, Squall. Your exam's today, right? How's that forehead doing?

Uh, no, I know. I just want to know if you know.

Everyone is making fun of Squall today.

Like the exams, maps at Balamb Garden are very difficult.


Anyway, we've now been all around the garden and talked to pretty much every person, so I guess there's nothing left to do but talk to Quistis...

Next time!