Part 17: Part Seventeen: Really, This is the One I Should Have Called "Taking the Train"Part Seventeen: Really, This is the One I Should Have Called "Taking the Train"
We've talked to all the Forest Owls and stolen their magazines, so I suppose it's time to get a move on.
Yes, Watts, he was very handsome.
I just said we've seen it. Pay attention.
And here we are, on top of a speeding train.
We still have to jump onto another one, though.
: We should time our jumps well after we catch up to them to save some time.
As far as I know, when you (the player) jump affects nothing.
: From now we have exactly......5 minutes to complete the operation. Let's try to use every second.
Rinoa is fucking fearless about jumping between trains. Look at the gap.
The SeeDs are much more conservative.
Hey, how did Zell and Selphie already cross the car? Did they jump the whole way?
This is the second escort car, the one with all the sensors.
Seems like there might be something going on, though.
This exchange is not one you're likely to see. Experienced players just book it across the car, knowing that the sensor is broken. Inexperienced players will get as far as "it's broken" and book it.
I like that they at least put something here, though. They could have left it with nothing.
Hell, I'd never even stuck around until this run to watch them talk. I didn't have any idea the conversation went this long.
Galbadian Officer: Activation confirmed!
Galbadian Soldier: Activation confirmed!
The Galbadian army is so good.
So far, so good.
The characters look very silly if you take pictures of them halfway through jumping.
Selphie just looks like she's having fun.
Meanwhile, inside the train...
Oh hey, it's the president.
President Deling: How many more times do you plan to disturb me with that meaningless report?
President Deling is a jerk.
Galbadian Soldier: Sir, I'm sorry sir. ...But it's my duty, sir!
President Deling: ...... It's hard to believe that anyone would put up with this nonsense. I guess it's none of my business. Dismissed.
Galbadian Soldier: ......! Sir, yes, sir!
Reminder that Galbadian soldiers like this one (or Laguna) are just doing jobs, the same as the SeeDs.
Now, back to our party.
: Like Watts said, there should be 2 guards on this car. Selphie and Zell, you guys keep an eye on the guards. Let us know early if you see them coming.
: Ok, are you ready to enter the codes? We'll have to enter 3 codes to disable the circuit for this uncoupling. Ok, Squall, get the cable ready.
As far as gameplay goes, the Timber mission is an excuse to put some minigames in and break up the "go here, watch scene, fight boss, go other place" design that's essential to RPGs.
There's another little tutorial on moving on the cable, but it's not important.
: We have 4 minutes left! Good luck, Squall!
This is pretty easy. She tells you the code, and then you put it in with the face buttons. The challenge is that you have to remember the code, because it disappears when the entry window comes up.
Naturally, I fucked it up the first time because I was trying to clear Rinoa's dialogue window.
Zell and Selphie will call out when the guards start coming toward Squall. There's enough time to play it safe and come up after every code.
Once the text boxes are gone or the guards reach the end of the car, you're good to go.
It went much better this time.
As long as you go down to enter the code as soon as the guard passes, there's usually time to get two in. This isn't difficult.
This uncoupling is especially easy, since you have Zell and Selphie helping you out.
An FMV is about to start.
Like most seamless FMVs, you have a bit of time where you're in control and can run around like a doofus.
There goes the back half of the train.
And here are the Owls, right on time.
And they slide right in.
Oh, hey, this guy again.
You can tell that's the dummy president because he's reading the paper.
Galbadian Soldier: (Huh..... He's not angry. Phew. That's strange. Oh, he's reading the paper. I wonder where he got it?)
The game also tells you it's the dummy.
Galbadian Officer: S-S-Sir aye aye...YESSIR!
Galbadian Soldier: S-Sir, yessir!
Poor Galbadian Soldier. A victim of the Galbadian army's fucked up pay structure.
When the Galbadian Officer tries to move forward in the train, he should end up in the first escort car, but the game acts like he sees the base, so I think this scene might be using a weird camera angle where the far end of the car is the back of the train, and the close end is the front.
Either way, the officer writes off his suspicions immediately.
His underling is more concerned about his paycheque than anything else. The Galbadians' complacency is as much a part of the plan as anything the Owls are doing.
Now we just have to pop the second escort off so that the Owls can take the president's car. Easy.
: I think there are 2 guards on this car, too. Zell and Selphie are up ahead, working on uncoupling our train from theirs. So you're on your own this time.
This car is technically tougher than the first one, since you have to work as your own lookout. It's not a problem if you play conservatively, though.
Five codes means three trips, if you're good. Since the guards start in the middle of the train, you have less time for the first code.
: Are you ready, Squall? We have 2 minutes left! Good luck, Squall!
Like I said, not a problem.
Also, when Rinoa said we had "2 minutes left", she meant we had, like, a minute and 40 seconds.
And we're out.
The Owls' train pops out of the middle of the Galbadian train.
Then the two split up at the switch point.
And we roll off into the sunset.
Happy to be of service. Enjoy your chat.
Watts is a touch more ebullient than Zone.
This is the reward for doing the entire train job without getting caught by the guards. If you do get caught, the dialogue doesn't change, you just don't get the rank up.
: Well then...
Looks like it's time for the Owls to divvy up jobs again.
Zone takes a powder.
: As soon as you're ready, I'll begin 'serious negotiations' with the president!
Squall doesn't have much confidence in the Forest Owls.
Also, in a dick move, the game removes Zell and Selphie's junctions during the scene where Laguna is alone with Julia. It is very easy to not notice this if you don't have something junctioned to HP or just check Squall's junctions first.
So be careful to give them their junctions back, or you'll be stuck with Attack in the next fight.
There's nothing very interesting going on with the Owls at this point (the other Owls don't have new dialogue).
So let's go chat with Deling. I'm sure he'll be very amicable.
Yeah, there he is.
: As long as you...don't resist, you won't get hurt...
: What's wrong?
Deling must smell bad or something. Rinoa's spooked, but Squall hasn't noticed what spooked her.
President Deling: I'm not the president. I'm what they call...a body double.
We've been duped!
Fake President Deling: You pass along a little false information and they fall for it... How pathetic... Seems like there are only amateurs around here.
Rinoa resents the remark, but Deling is right, the Forest Owls are amateurs. Even this plan, for all its details, was amateurish, and kidnapping the president to negotiate isn't really a winning tactic. The Owls are dedicated to rebellion, but they haven't got any real experience.
Back to the now, though. Fake Deling moves very oddly, lurching around and standing stooped over. As soon as he stands up, you can tell something is off about him.
He also speaks strangely.
Fake President Deling: Why doN'T you teLL mE...
Then he goes for Rinoa, who's frozen up in the face of danger, again belying her amateurishness.
Well, he's not the real president, so I guess we can just cap him.
Fake Deling does not move or stand like a normal human being. You can see his weird posture here, and he twitches a lot. It's pretty uncomfortable, honestly.
He's not much of a threat, though.
And the only thing he's carrying is Cure.
The Fake President has, at most, 778 HP. He is not a challenging fight.
He also has two other lines that you'll probably never see, because they depend on dealing enough damage but not killing him:
Fake President Deling: kiLL...thE...REsisTanCE...
Fake President Deling: aMusINg...tHIs iS AmuSinG!
And that's all there is to the Fake President fight.
Oh shit, I lied. Looks like he's coming back for round two.
After the laser show, this guy shows up. This is the real boss, Gerogero.
In the Japanese version, Gerogero's escaping guts were red instead of blue. This was censored because the guts looked too real.
Eloquently put, Squall.
And a good answer.
"Brrawghh!" is actually the name of an attack, which affects whoever it hits with Slow (which slows the rate of the ATB), Curse (which prevents the character from using Limits), and Blind.
Gerogero uses a lot of status effects, but thankfully has Esuna to draw, so you should be able to heal yourself.
He also has Double to draw, in case you really want it.
Berserk isn't really great for anything in this game.
And Zombie is a decent enough Vit junction, but it's easier to get elsewhere (like Blood Soul cards, which refine to Zombie Powder, which is 20 Zombies, or Holy water, which refines to 2 Zombies and can be purchased).
Gerogero can also cast Berserk, as he did to Selphie. This can be a real problem if it hits someone who's Blind, or if all your characters have Berserk and you're stuck using physical attacks.
Unfortunately for him, Gerogero is an undead boss, so I have Squall queue up a Phoenix Down while Zell heals himself.
Gerogero doesn't like it when Squall tosses a Phoenix Down at him.
In fact, it kills him in one shot. Gerogero might be the toughest boss so far if you don't just do this to him.
Here's 160 free Zombie spells.
And a good use for the 20 AP Gerogero gives.
Followed by two bad ones.
And then it's back to the Owls' base for the debrief.
: I can't believe we fell for it!
It better be good.
To root out the resistance and kill you all?
Watts: The president's going to the TV Station! Security's super tight, sir!
Oh, he just wants to be on the news. Nevermind, then.
: ...The TV Station? Why in Timber? They can broadcast just as easily from Galbadia.
: Do you think the Dollet communication tower has anything to do with this?
Proof that Galbadia loves infrastructure?
Oh, right, these guys weren't there.
: It had been abandoned for a long time, but the Galbadian Army got it up and running yesterday.
Zone: Ohhhh... I get it... The only TV station that can handle broadcasts over the air is in Timber. Other stations use HD cable, which only supports online broadcasting.
: So, what's that supposed to mean?
Zone: They're planning on using radio waves. This way, they can transmit images to regions without cable.
: I know that...! What I want to know is, what is the president going to broadcast?
Whatever it is, it must be important.
: There must be something they want to say to the whole world. What can it be?
It's probably nothing good.
It's probably not that, no matter how persuasive Selphie's dance may be.
Everyone else in the room has the same opinion.
Zone: If I remember correctly, radio waves haven't been used in 17 years.
: It's been that long? Wouldn't it be wonderful if the first broadcast could be the declaration of Timber's independence!?
That might be nice, but it seems unlikely.
Zone: Hey! That might be possible.
: Let's come up with a plan then!
For the Owls, of course, hope springs eternal.
Oh, take all the time you need.
So they squat down in the corner to plan their second attack on the president of Galbadia, and the player gets control back.
Zell isn't impressed by the Forest Owls.
Selphie doesn't seem that into it, either.
: What about our contract? Shouldn't we check it, Squall?
The SeeDs are now openly opposed to helping the Owls any further. If Rinoa wants to steal another train, they'll probably mutiny.
Squall doesn't say anything, but he's clearly not a believer in the Forest Owls.
: Before we get into that, can I see your contract with our Garden?
: Oh, sure.
Let's take a look.
: What's it say?
Jesus, Zell, give me a chance to read it.
: ...The hell......?
: I don't get it.
Well, see, Garden is Party A, The Owls are Party B, and Seed is Party C. Now, the way -
: When I told him I didn't understand, he gave me a different one.
She keeps saying this. How generous is this contract?
: What's it say this time?
Until Timber achieves independence? Wow, no wonder Rinoa thinks Cid is so nice, and no wonder the Garden Faculty was so mad at him. Jesus. I know I've said it, but from things like this contract and his chat with Seifer, it seems like Cid has something in mind for SeeD other than just making money.
: Until Timber's independence!?
: That is soooo vague!
Yeah, no shit. SeeD walked out of Dollet in the middle of the fight because they didn't pay, and now we're in Timber until god-only-knows-when. Explains why they sent rookies, though.
If you haven't noticed, the Timber mission isn't one for the A-Team. We probably got this job because the Garden wanted it out of the way right away and yesterday's graduates were handy. Low pay, an open-ended contract, the Owls' lack of professionalism and experience... We're Squad B forever.
And there's nothing we can do about it.
: Ok, let's decide on the parties!
I'm sure these reactions are very surprising to everyone.
And now we get to make a party!