Part 22: Part Twenty-Two: Laguna's Guide to the Centra Underground ScenePart Twenty-Two: Laguna's Guide to the Centra Underground Scene
Now that everyone's passed out in the forest, we're back with Laguna & co.
Scene setting: we're in a place.
Kiros verifies: this is definitely a place.
: I don't wanna be patrolling the wrong place, like last time.
Laguna's not sold on this being the place.
But Kiros and Ward just laugh it off. They know the score.
: This is it. Let's go, commander.
Something's bothering Laguna, so he checks his map.
That's our Laguna!
If something really is bothering the guy, let's at least hear him out.
: Seriously, I have a BAAAD feeling...! There's somethin' fishy goin' on here! You know what the old folks say... The unfamiliar always happens...
: You mean...'unexpected', right?
: You only got the 'un' part right.
: Aah, shut up! Stop your clamorin' and make sure all your gear's equipped. Now, let's move out!
It's kind of nice to see these guys and their rapport as an established party after watching the SeeD group bumble around and fuck up. Too bad that in this episode...one of these characters will die.
It's also kind of nice that we took the "right" party with us to the forest and don't have to fix our junctions at all.
Not nice is that I only have two Str-J abilities right now, so Kiros is pretty lacking in battle.
Anyway, let's head down the path into the, uh...
"Centra - Excavation Site". That's the trick.
If you're wondering what a "Centra" is, here's the relevant page from the Information section. This doesn't get mentioned in the game, which makes sense because all the characters would probably know it, but is annoying because the player wouldn't. I like the existence of the Information section for stuff like that.
PS, don't fuck with the moon.
I like the look of this place quite a bit, with the machinery mixed with the whatever this walkway leads into. I'm a big fan of environments in this game generally, but this area is actually one of my favourites, visually.
Draw points kind of suck if you know about refinement, but I had Ward pull off it anyway.
: What the heck is this big pile of rocks? You think these are natural rocks used for carving tombstones?
I have no clue why that would be Laguna's first assumption about the rocks. There are a lot of reasons to dig in the ground, and I don't think that's number one.
: Who knows...or cares?
: Speaking of strange... Why have you been...running around so strange?
: Strange...? What do you mean strange? ...Just bein' cautious. That's the basic rule of thu...
Seems like something's caught Laguna's attention.
Hmm... Esthar soldiers.
: Still wearin' those flashy uniforms.
You know, I'd hazard a guess that this excavation site belongs to Esthar.
Laguna doesn't look at Ward, so he still thinks there's only one soldier.
Time for a fight!
This one's a back attack, since Laguna turned around, but it's not hard. Esthar Soldiers are a bit tougher than Galbadians, but they're still not a real threat.
Of course, we still have the other three to deal with.
: Why does it have to turn out like this?
: Seriously...! I wasn't expecting this at all!
Why not, though? Like, this is Esthar's dig site. I don't know why they would expect to not be bothered.
There are three this time.
Related: a group of three Esthar soldiers is not a threat.
When I first played this game, I had the BradyGames guide for it, and I think they had the characters at, like, level 25 or 30 by this point.
Yeah, how odd.
Probably for the best.
In fact, let's run over here.
: A ladder. Guys, it's a ladder. Looks like it leads down.
This is why I like this area.
Of course, Laguna has to ruin the cool look of the place by being a nerd.
: What's wrong?
: My...leg...cramped up!!!
What an inspiration. A true Galbadian hero.
: I'm so out of shape. Gotta stretch before I exercise...
: That last battle we had doesn't really count as exercise.
: ...What? D'ya say something?
: ...Ahh, no.
It's fun to talk about stretching and what does and doesn't count as exercise, but we have an important dig site to explore.
This place is very green, n'est-ce pas? I wonder what it is, and why Esthar is so interested.
Over by these metal rings, we find an item.
This is why you should play as Jill instead. Then you don't have to worry about this bullshit.
What a role model. I hope it didn't unlock anything important.
Laguna's ineptitude aside, let's see what else is around.
Oh fuck off. Not you.
Now this is the good shit. I love hatches.
: ......!! I know! If we use this... Some stubborn Esthar fool won't be able to come after us!
Laguna this is an improper use of hatches.
: What the heck are you up to?
: Somethin' stupid again, I bet.
: You guys... You're gonna regret sayin' that. They say, the one who makes fun of a genius will end up cryin' in the end.
: ...So who's the...genius...?
: Erghhhhhh! Just shut up! ANYWAY! The lever for this hatch is broken. So if we just loosen it a bit more...
: When they come after us from that side and...
This conversation is longer than it feels in the game. Like, damn, this is just a ton of dialogue for something so incidental.
: Youuu guessed it! They'll walk over it without expecting a thing. Then, all of a sudden, WHOOPS! ...And down they go. I have to admit... I really am a genius.
Good for you, Laguna. I know it's hard to be a genius in this world.
: Hah. ...Like the Esthar soldiers are really gonna fall for this trap.
Ward is just a hater.
: We won't know until we try! And those who never try will never know! So... I'm gonna do it! Just remember, if we tamper with the lever, we won't be able to make it back to the other side. It'd be idiotic to fall for our own trap...
Oh, just do it.
As you can see, the lever in the upper-right is now gone.
We've had enough fun here, let's go.
As soon as we do...
See ya never, dead Esthar guy.
Now that we've done all that, we have to come back up to the top, but follow the path straight instead of taking the ladder down.
Ward/Selphie will probably still have those Confuse spells at the end of the game.
Anyway, on the other side, we can come down another ladder into this hallway.
Oh, another item.
Well, that's nice. Try to hold on to this one.
: (This time... It's in my shirt pocket...so HA!)
Jesus Christ, Laguna.
: (Can't find it...)
: Oh well... Nothing cheaper than something free.
: Nothing cheaper...
: ...Than something free?
Nah, that's right.
: ...What? Is it something I said? C'mon... Let's go.
Past the Old Key, we're back at the hatches.
Note: you can't do this if you don't tamper with the middle hatch first.
Fuck it, let's wreck some hatches.
: ...You planning to fall for your own trap?
: It's already a dead end. You still wanna close off the path we just took with a trap? Normally, even if you raise the lever... It'd be meaningless.
: Ohhh... I get it. Well... Perfect timing... I guess? Ahh, you know what I mean... Since this lever is also loose I just thought...we'd leave it alone.
: What!? You don't believe me? C'mon, guys!
Well, that was enlightening. Moving on.
Who broke this hatch? It wasn't broken earlier.
Shit, might as well.
: This lever... It's not moving 'cause... there's something stuck? Ahh, well...
Well, that's how it goes with hatches I guess.
I really like the crystal in this place. It's probably one of the main areas I think of when I think of FFVIII.
On the next screen, we find a...thing that I can't identify. Some kind of thing.
Even Laguna can't tell what it is.
: A detonator...? You know.
That's a stupid-lookin' detonator.
: Ohhh, I get it. The short blue fuse is for that boulder and the long red fuse is for the boulder further down?
Hey, man...! Are you crazy!? You don't even know how powerful that thing will be!
Don't be such a stick in the mud, Ward.
: Ahh, I bet it's not all that. The detonator's right here, so as long as we stay behind it, we'll be all right.
: Well..., I guess so...
: Let's see...
Let's blow some stuff up! To do this correctly, you have to start with the far boulder/red switch.
Yeah, don't worry about it.
I think it was a little more than he expected.
The boulder is dropped down to the floor below, and chases this Esthar soldier into this tunnel.
Then it gets stuck, sealing the exit. He's probably not getting out.
It also opens the left hatch!
Well, I mean, it was a bomb.
: Lucky we were here.
: That's what I told you before! You should always check how powerful the thing could be...
: Wasn't that...me, who said that?
: ...Uh...Ah...Hm... Anyway, we're all still alive, right!?
Yes, Laguna, you are all still alive. Which is why you should now set off the bomb right next to you.
And there they go. It's always safety first with those guys.
After we set off the charge, the boulder chases these Esthar soldiers away.
Then it gets stuck in the hole.
And there's the third hatch opened! This doesn't really help us!
Kiros and Ward are always complaining.
Laguna's got it right. Always look on the bright side.
Anyway, up these stairs.
And onto this screen, with the nice pink crystal.
I wonder what this place is.
Laguna wonders what this rock is.
Angry at the rock, he shoves it.
There's another Esthar soldier down.
: Phew, that was close...
: Geez... You have to go around touching everything like a little kid, don't you?
: Chill out a little, will ya...?
Nobody tells Laguna to chill out.
: Thanks to ME, those Esthar soldiers and that rock are history.
Yeah, fuck rocks!
: It's just like killing two pigs with one stone. I am just so awesome... Genius, I tell you...
Laguna is a stone-cold cop killer.
: Don't you mean...birds?
Why would someone kill birds with rocks? That's fucked up, man. Kiros, you're fucked up.
Even though it's shit, I can't just not draw.
Carrying on. We're almost through here.
Here's a save point, even!
If you go out the right side exit there, it just leads to this outdoor area.
Following the path just brings you back in on the screen before the detonator.
The way you want to go is up.
Pretty good view.
Too bad we've got company.
: Don't tell me...
: Of all the worst possible..
And now it's time for another fight with two Esthar Soldiers. How will we manage.
After wiping out the soldiers, the last one will use this ability.
It leaves Kiros with only 1 HP.
Then he repeats the process.
Only Laguna is left with more than 1 HP.
And that fucker didn't even give me any EXP. Eat shit in hell, buddy.
Note that, if the traps in the dig site aren't set, there are more fights during this sequence (up to four), and each fight has a little line from Laguna.
After the First Fight posted:
: Arghhhh! I'm gettin' hungry!
After the Second Fight posted:
: Uhhhh! The tip o'my nose itchessss!
After the Third Fight posted:
: Darn it! I wanna scratch the bottom of my feeeet!
After the fight, the guys crawl over to the cliff.
Laguna, are you going to swim to Galbadia? Is that your plan?
: One would say we've been run down... That's what they'd normally say...
Kiros is not on board with the plan!
: Don't say that. It might come true. Didn't your grandmother tell you that?
: ...If you say something bad... It will come true... Yeah, I think she did.
Ward is so mad about Laguna being right he can't even vocalise it.
: What'd you say?
: I think...his throat...was injured... He lost...his voice.
: Say again?
Things are lookin' bad for Laguna and his men.
: Just for that, you're gettin' the Cuchi-Cuchi treatment! How's that, huh!? Want more!? Well!?
Look at the difference between Squall and Laguna here - Squall doesn't offer his comrades any support, even after they fail their mission and put Garden in jeopardy, but Laguna is still making jokes and trying to keep everyone's spirits up even though things look really bad.
And don't think for a second that he doesn't know how bad this situation is.
But Laguna sticks to it and finds a way. That's his strength as a leader.
There we go.
So, having spotted his boat, Laguna picks Kiros up and hurls him off the cliff.
And then he does the same to Ward.
Of course, he's not as keen on jumping down himself.
So he's going to try to climb it.
See you, Laguna...