The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy VIII

by Cool Ghost

Part 28: Part Twenty-Eight: What Comes Naturally

Part Twenty-Eight: What Comes Naturally

Now that I've figured out that I'm playing as Quistis instead of Squall, we're free to get this plan started.

I'm also free to rename our new GF. They will now be called SquarEnix, but let's be real: it should be SquarSoft.

SquarEnix are a GF that primarily exists to boost your HP. In the same way that Mufasa ended up learning Str Bonus, these guys will get HP Bonus.

SquarEnix also have a unique command. Defend completely blocks physical damage (and status effects) and halves magical damage for a turn. I've never made extensive use of it, but it has its applications.

Cover is also here. If you equip it to someone, that character will take hits for others (as long as they're standing next to them). Since it's easy to get everyone's HP and defences way high, you can probably skip this one.

I just set them to learn Str-J so I could have a complete set. It's an important stat if you want to pour out damage, especially using the male characters, whose Limits all do physical damage; the female characters have magical limits, except for Rinoa whose Limit is more of a wild card.

I also shuffled some junctions around.

Fun fact: while you're Quistis, Quistis gets Squall's paycheque. I wonder if she still outranks him.

Another fun fact: you can escape the camera in this room.

Selphie and Zell are excited to be working with Quistis. You know, I wonder if anyone's told them that Quistis got fired.

As we try to leave, Rinoa busts in the place.

: Finally got out of there! Did that man say something?

He said a lot of stuff, and he ran around like a fool, too. It was all very silly.

: No, not really.

Zell, that is a lie.

Uh, he's at...the store.

Quistis puts her foot down. We don't have time to talk about Squall.

: Hold on a sec.

Rinoa this sorceress is not going to kill herself.

Rinoa digs around a bit, then pulls out a thing.

It disappeared.

: This is called an Odine Bangle. I found it in that man's room.
: Odine!?
: Whatcha gonna do with it?

Lotta things are supposed to do a lot of things.

Look at Quistis here. In the game, she's actually laughing at Rinoa.

Zell, please.

If you've been paying attention to the info pages, you'll recognise the name Odine. Dr. Odine invented Para-Magic.

Quistis is already done with this plan.

This is a pretty good interplay of personality and body language, with Quistis as an actual experienced SeeD (and the only one in the room!) and Rinoa as a person with more passion than strategic ability.

: Squall and Irvine are already standing by. We have an operation to carry out, too. You understand, don't you?

Quistis is right, of course. Rinoa's going to have to sit this one out.

Ladies and gentlemen, Quistis Trepe.

Zell and Selphie awkwardly follow her out.

Rinoa's feelings are hurt, but Quistis isn't in the wrong.

Well, that was fun.

Now we're Squall again.

Squall, ever the optimist, is already working on plan b.

This line stays up for fucking ever. Also, Quistis was 100% full of shit when she said Squall was already in position.

Something is obviously bothering Irvine.

Since we're party to Squall's thoughts, we know that he's also got reservations about this. Of course, he completely fails to express them.

Irvine, unfortunately, chooses to be oblique in his line of questioning.

: (...An enemy that is pure evil?)

Squall, instead of answering Irvine, decides to ponder the philosophy of the question.

I like the juxtaposition of Squall's thinking with the system message here.

Anyway, back to Squall. Note that none of his lines after Irvine's are being said aloud, so Irvine is just left hanging.

And now we're here.

Selphie, none of you are good at your jobs. Did you know Quistis got fired literally yesterday?

General Caraway: The gateway team will wait inside the gate until 20:00. You can enter through this door. The sorceress will pass through the gateway at exactly 20:00. In that instant, lower the gates using the control console located on the top floor and trap her inside the gateway.

Good luck, Quistis.

The two of them facing opposite directions gives this shot that little something extra.

Galbadia Garden is only one of the involved parties.

General Caraway: It's starting. I'm returning to my residence. Good luck.

Caraway's not here to play twenty questions.

As he passes the arch, the gateway team pops out.

: Maybe I was too hard on her...
: Too hard?
: I'm going to go apologize...

This is a terrible idea, but Quistis lost her position as an instructor due to lack of leadership skills, and that's what we're seeing here.

: You mean...Rinoa?
: But...but... We can't just leave our post!

She's not wrong, and as Selphie pointed out, this isn't a three-person job.

Too bad they all decided to be bad at their jobs at the same time.

Now, this is a bad decision, obviously, but I don't think it's really out of character. Like I said, Quistis was just fired for lacking leadership skills, and the ability to stand by a decision is one of those. So it makes sense for Quistis to go off like this. Selphie follows her because that's what Selphie sees fit to do: she doesn't have as much of an obviously stated character, but with things like her jumping off the cliff during the exam and how she talks, it's pretty clear that she's not the most serious person, and she seems to underestimate the seriousness of things. Zell follows them because he absolutely cannot resist peer pressure. Every one of these characters is immature and bad at their jobs in a way that feeds the others.

So now we're the gateway team again.

Note that we are maybe thirty feet behind Caraway. Quistis could easily get his attention by yelling at him.

We're just behind him going into the mansion.

Rinoa is still sitting there, thinking about what to do.

She has nothing to say to Caraway, just waving him off.

Caraway, of course, is still worried about his daughter. This is a pretty well-worn kind of situation in fiction.

I like that Rinoa says nothing.

This is a pretty good exchange, I'd say. There aren't any words wasted.

Rinoa knows Caraway well, naturally, and spots his plan.

She manages to escape the trap.

There's a beat here. Keep in mind that we don't see the rest of Caraway's house, so I'm pretty sure this study is at the back of the place.

Enough time passes for Quistis to have missed Rinoa.

She realises how bad this could be.

And then the door locks.

And Quistis is caught in the trap meant for Rinoa.

: ??? Did we get...locked in?
: That Caraway guy!?
: We're smack dab in the middle of a family quarrel here!

"This is bad," she says, having just shitted everything up.

: What do you mean?
: Rinoa's probably on her way to see the sorceress as we speak.

Quistis feels bad because she's the kind of person to feel bad when she hurts someone's feelings, but also because she knows Rinoa is probably about to go into mortal danger and she could have stopped it.

Speak of the devil.

We are now Rinoa, who has sneaked into the presidential residence by herself.

Our first stop is the sewer.

There it is. Deling City has some fancy-lookin' shit pipes.

I gave Rinoa Squall's junctions before I came down here.

There are, of course, monsters living in the sewers.

It was only after the battle that it occurred to me to junction Rinoa with Booyakaga, who is so close to learning Enc-None here.

The sewers here are just a straight shot down, and at the end we can find this. It's pretty easy to miss.

New weapon pictures/recipes are always fun. I skipped this weapon for Rinoa accidentally because I stumbled into the materials for the next level up.

For some reason, Slaying Tail doesn't scream Sleipnir to me.

The Japanese name (スレイプニルテイル/Sureipuniruteiru) is Sleipnir Tail.

That was just a fun little aside, though. Now back to the task at hand.

Rinoa is, of course, serious about helping the SeeDs. Leaving her alone was actually probably the worst choice possible.

She is now neither properly equipped to attack the sorceress nor properly defended. It may be irresponsible and immature of her to run off and do this, but if you're surprised by that, then you are terrible at seeing patterns.

This is some...interesting architecture. What is that ladder even for?

On top of the house is the sorceress.

And here's Rinoa.

: Umm... Excuse me... I'm...the daughter of, um...Galbadian Army's, um...General Caraway. I...thought I'd...come pay my respects... You know...'cause of my father and all...

I suppose she wasn't lying when she said she had a plan.

Fun fact: the player gets control of Rinoa for a little bit here. You cannot just leave.

The obvious direction to go is towards her.

Doing so gets Rinoa blasted back.

You know, between this and the thing with Seifer, I'm inclined to think that the sorceress can read minds.

While she's on the floor, Rinoa's arm is twitching.

It seems she's not all the way in control.

Then the sorceress knocks her out and just dumps her on the floor.

This is, uh, probably bad.