Part 30: Part Thirty: The ShotPart Thirty: The Shot
First order of business today: renaming a GF.
Second: rescuing Rinoa.
Good news! She's not dead!
Squall isn't gonna look at her, though.
: It's over now.
: I was scared... I was really, really scared.
: You're used to battles, aren't you?
Something is telling me "no."
Rinoa is pretty ashamed of herself here. She knows she screwed up pretty bad coming in alone. She also wants Squall to reassure her.
: I couldn't fight alone...
This is a character growth moment for Rinoa, as she realises her reliance on others and how far out of her depth she is.
Squall pulls away without comforting her, but look at that thought before he does. Squall ran over to Rinoa before Irvine, too. He doesn't say it, but he's worried about her.
Before Squall can leave, Rinoa grabs onto him.
: Just stay close to me.
It's not much, but there's the reassurance.
And there's Irvine! The cutscene is over, so he ran over to join the party. From his positioning, though, I thought he was going to say a line. I was waiting.
Anyway, before we go shooting, let's set up some junctions. We're actually set up for it now.
Let's also look at our newest GF.
Garfunkel's refine ability is used to make healing items. It's definitely not indispensable.
Honestly, Garfunkel isn't winning the Nobel Prize in ability lists. Counter is semi-useful, but 200 is a lot of AP, plus it takes up an ability slot, which is usually better off containing a stat boost.
So I just set him to learn Vit +20%.
The one thing that Garfunkel is important for is coming up very soon, so I junctioned him to Rinoa.
I also pulled Squall's Tornado stock out of storage. 99 is quite a bit of Strength.
Fun fact: the junction switching menu also moves characters' magic around, so Rinoa had to get all her spells back from Zell.
Funner fact: I just realised that I fucked up who originally had what magic.
This shot is included just because I thought it was funny Squall had 2,000 HP and 99 Str, then his next highest stat was 22. If you know what you're doing, you can really throw the game out of balance using junctions.
There are finally enough HP-J abilities to cover the whole party. Look at those numbers.
Back to the actual game, you cannot leave through these doors.
Instead, it's into the hatch for real this time.
Time to get set up.
Not much to do now except wait.
Irvine, for his part, just gets really solemn and takes off to the other side of the clock.
: (Oh, he must be concentrating.)
: (Can't hear anything from in here. ...What's going on with the parade, I wonder?)
I wonder what Squall would be thinking if he knew the gateway team had run off and were playing in the sewers right now.
Right, there's this, too. Seifer being here is weird.
Surprisingly, Squall decides to not just sit on this information.
: ...What does it mean?
: Who knows.
: (Would I have to go through Seifer? ...That's the way it goes as a SeeD. You can't choose your enemies...)
Squall never liked Seifer, but he still doesn't want to kill the guy.
And, just in case you thought there would be another solution.
Rinoa doesn't like that news.
: That's the kind of world you live in. You've had a lot of emotional training.
She's taking it well, though. Rinoa may be inexperienced, but she's learning fast.
They're agreed on that point, but they both know it's not likely.
Note also how frankly these two are talking now. Earlier, all they did was argue, but now they're warming up to each other. A lot is going on at this point, but most of it is very subtle stuff that you'd miss if you blinked.
: It's all up to Irvine.
Speaking of, let's check in with Mr. Kinneas.
: Don't tell me you're getting the jitters...
: I...I can't do it.
In case you thought the B-team had pulled together and gotten over their amateur nature, here you go.
The body language in this game is great.
Now that we've found out our lone gunman can't shoot, let's be Quistis for a while.
I did all the junction exchanging, even though I have Enc-None and really just had to swap Selphie and Rinoa. Oh well.
Also, look how much goddamn gil I have. Jesus.
So, here we are in the Deling City sewers. I hate the sewers. I always make sure I have Enc-None available and equipped for the sewers.
At least they have music:
You can, uh, knock this ladder down.
Look, I'll level with you: most of my screenshots from the sewer involve Quistis riding water wheels. It's the most visually dynamic thing down here.
For some reason, I can never remember the route through the sewers.
This is not the exit to the sewer. I knew that, I know what the exit looks like. I went up the ladder anyway.
Anyway, sewer highlights: this draw point of Esuna (useful-ish).
This drawpoint of Zombie (not useful).
What you need to do in the sewer is swing around so you're on the other half of the screen you start on, so that you can open this gate. However, the gates in the sewer can be finicky, and this one wouldn't open for me earlier, which led to me running around like an asshole.
Then you just hop on the wheel, open the gate, and run to the end. It's much easier than it initially seems, to be honest. This whole thing takes maybe two minutes if you have Enc-None on. So, that said, here's why I don't like the sewers:
1. Visually boring. There's nothing going on here. It's sort of like the Tomb of the Unknown King, but without the gimmick, the map, or the logical layout.
2. Right in the middle of a tense scene. This sequence breaks up Squall talking to Irvine, and at a weird point.
Anyway, we're out now.
We cannot just walk out into the road and jump Edea.
Might as well go fiddle with the switch, I guess.
Enjoy this shot of everyone being in the same spot.
Yeah, great. Now, let's close this gate.
It doesn't work.
The switch isn't working.
Of course, the right thing to do is to talk to Zell.
Zell was all "we just made it" but look at that. We had two seconds left, you drama queen.
There goes the clock, doin' its thing.
What a weird fuckin' clock.
And here's the float, doin' its thing.
And, uh, this guy. Look, there's a lot going on in this FMV.
Edea doesn't seem impressed by his moves.
There she goes under the arch, facing away from Irvine.
Fuck you, Zell. Don't tell me what to do.
This is not on a timer.
While we're here, might as well.
The gate drops.
Edea notices this. Quelle surprise.
She's immediately aware that something's up.
There's the second gate.
And here's Squall, stuck with a sniper who won't snipe.
: I...I can't... I'm sorry. I can't do it. I always choke like this... I try to act all cool, joke around, but I just can't handle the pressure...
You may recall that Irvine was worried about something earlier, and Squall didn't address it. Well, he's still worried about it!
: Forget it. Just shoot.
To be fair, assassinating a head of state is a major mission, and giving it to amateurs is probably not a great move.
: I'd change the history of Galbadia... Of the world! It's all too much...
It's not a completely invalid concern. Let's see how Squall reacts.
Amazing leadership from the man himself.
: Irvine, calm down. Everyone's waiting on you. I don't care if you miss. Whatever happens, just leave the rest to us. Just think of it as a signal. A sign for us to make our move.
This bit actually is good leadership, and it's the first time Squall has really shown any. It's also the first time that Squall is actively taking responsibility for the mission. This is another big turning point.
And it works, too.
Here we go.
He takes the shot.
...And it's blocked.
I guess it's time to bum rush Edea.
: I'm goin' in for the sorceress. Irvine, Rinoa, just be ready to back me up.
It's incredibly subtle, but look at how Squall talks to them here. Irvine and Rinoa are both outsiders, but he trusts them to back him up now. They're getting there.
Before the rush, the game presents a last chance to set up junctions.
Not only do I do the swapping stuff, I feed Rinoa and Irvine some Potions. Here's the twist: the game heals you for free, so I wasted them.
: Take care of Rinoa.
And he's off!
Even with GFs backing you up, I bet landing a jump like that hurts your feet.
That aside, the time for covertness has passed.
So Squall leaps into the street (where people are now freaking the fuck out because of the gunshot) with his gunblade out.
When you leap into a crowd with a big sword, people tend to make space.
Squall's not really that close to the arch, so he's taking a little drive.
Just a quiet drive in Deling City.
Pictured pretty clearly: the back of Edea's float. Yes, she blocked the bullet from the front.
Squall maybe isn't the world's best at parking.
He got there.
The camera pans around the float, and lets us all enjoy this great shot of Seifer's crotch.
His eyes are up here, though.
Edea's got this great look of contempt in all these FMVs.
: I prefer to be called her knight.
Just a beautiful pose.
: This has always been my dream.
So, this is the "romantic dream" Seifer mentioned during the SeeD exam. But, you may remember this from way back before the Fire Cavern:
Seifer probably saw this movie as a kid and has the sorceress's knight as a heroic figure in his memory, sort of like a kid who wants to be Superman. This is probably why she was able to get him to join her so easily, and it's a little bit of Seifer's character that's very easy to miss (that shot is from a semi-random conversation that you don't initiate). It's also interesting to look at Seifer, who has the "heroic" role of the knight in contrast with Squall, the mercenary, which is typically a more "villainous" role. It's a neat little reversal of traditional roles.
But enough of that, it's time to fight.
Fittingly, this battle is a duel.
: Squall, you're mine!
So, Seifer. The first thing I do is draw some Life off him. Life is useful, plus he has a line that I didn't want to miss.
There's the line.
Seifer's main attack is to hit you with the gunblade, of course. He usually doesn't hit the trigger, and when he does, it's still not too bad. This would be much worse if I didn't have really good junctions, but that's not news at this point.
I DID NOT MEAN TO DO THIS!
Seifer is probably the easiest boss in the game. He's weaker than Ifrit. Theoretically, this is meant to balance out the fact that you fight him one-on-one, but even taking that in mind, Seifer is shit. It's disappointing, really. The game isn't hard to begin with, but Seifer shouldn't be someone that drops with one hit.
See ya later, Seifer.
Now it's time for the main event.
Edea doesn't have much to say.
Before the fight begins, Rinoa and Irvine come in to support Squall.
: I can fight if I'm with you! That's why I'm here!
: I have to redeem myself.
The team is finally coming together.
Naturally, for a major fight like this, there's special music:
Oh, by the way, Edea really hates SeeDs for some reason.
As befits a sorceress, she's packing some high-level magic.
Edea is a much bigger threat than Seifer.
In fact, Edea would be a hard fight if not for the fact that her AI is incredibly easy to fuck up. All you have to do is summon Garfunkel.
While I'm waiting for that to go off, I draw some spells.
Dispel isn't very good in this game, since battles tend to not last long enough for it to become necessary.
Double is still okay. Might as well.
This is the last offensive spell Edea will cast.
See, Garfunkel gives the whole party Reflect status.
Edea is smart enough to not cast magic that would just bounce back to her.
Unfortunately for her, this means that her offence is limited to the shittacular Astral Punch.
The only other thing she will do is cast Dispel on one person.
Meanwhile, you're free to beat the shit out of her. She has more HP than Seifer, but that AI problem really ruins things for her.
The battle is over pretty quickly.
There's no fanfare, though.
The 0 EXP is expected, but not getting any items sucks.
At least she's worth 20 AP.
After the fight, Edea, instead of being dead, seems to be powering up.
I guess that's what she was powering up.
Rinoa seems pretty upset about this.
I'm gonna say this didn't go as planned.
Definitely not as planned.
Well, that's that.