Part 31: Part Thirty-One: Peaceful LivingPart Thirty-One: Peaceful Living
Last time on Final Fantasy VIII, things were looking bad for Squall and friends. Especially Squall, who had a big ice spear through his upper torso (for those of you playing along at home, that's where the heart and lungs live).
This time, we're Laguna, and a child is talking to us.
The first thing we can note about Laguna here is that he's not dead. Number two is he ditched his army uniform for a more casual ensemble.
: Hmm? Is he at the pub?
Child: Yup. That's why I came over to get yoo, Uncle Laguna!
"Uncle" Laguna? I guess we're seeing Laguna's home life now.
This text box at least gives us a name for the kid.
Laguna is mad at her for something.
: It's dangerous to be out there by yourself. What if a monster comes and attacks you?
Elle: It's only next door. It's ok.
: It's still dangerous!
I think this is the most responsible we've ever seen Laguna be.
: They'll catch you and then they'll suck all your blood out! If anything like that should happen, Uncle Laguna's gonna cry...
Elle: I'll be ok.
The kid is pretty confident.
Are we talking about the same Laguna?
...And she runs off.
Here's Laguna's stats right now, if you were curious. 100 Str is pretty nice.
They didn't heal me after the boss...
Over here is a hidden Curaga draw point.
This adds, like, 150 points to my HP.
Downstairs, there are...a lot of bullet holes. More than in my place, that's for sure.
I guess "Elle" was just a nickname.
Laguna ruffles her hair a little.
Then she spends some time straightening it back out. It's pretty cute.
After that little exchange, Ellone heads outside.
I took a break to do some junctioning, though. Laguna has Squall's old junctions, and everything else is available.
I threw on Enc-None for the next little bit.
Welcome to the town of Winhill. It's a nice little place.
While I'm introducing it, I suppose the music would be apropos:
Here's the info page for Winhill. It must be important for somethin' if Esthar went multiple times.
: That was 2 years ago, right? They would've been here by now.
Sounds like things have quieted down, though.
Soldier: But... You never know what a country ruled by a sorceress could be up to...
People do not trust sorceresses.
Going off this, it sounds like Laguna didn't officially leave the army.
Soldier: We're only on watch for Esthar soldiers. Screw the monsters.
: Give me a break, guys...
Seems like these guys don't really care much about Winhill.
: It's a heckuva lot better than what Esthar soldiers do. They kidnap little girls, you know? I think they're lookin' for a successor to Sorceress Adel, the ruler of Esthar.
Soldier: If they come back here again, I'm sure it'll be for Ellone this time.
: Hah! But they gotta go through me!
I'm sure Laguna can handle Esthar.
For example, he'll have these 10 Dispel spells on his side.
During this sequence, we cannot leave Winhill.
We also can't go into this big house.
In fact, the only place we can go is the bar.
: Ellone, now's your chance!
Having used a GF to avoid fighting monsters, Laguna knows it's safe.
So she comes running over.
Inside, Ellone is getting yelled at, probably for going outside by herself.
Raine: Now go to your room and play.
Raine: Laguna! Use proper English when speaking to Ellone!
Well, it seems like Laguna's leading a pretty quiet life since he fell off that cliff.
While Laguna and Ellone are sharing a laugh, Kiros walks in from off-screen.
: It's been a while, Laguna.
Laguna seems excited to see an old friend.
Note that Laguna is not whispering here.
And the kid just parrots what he was saying.
You can't talk to Raine over the counter.
And then, after I took all the time to go around, she just told me to talk to Kiros.
Might as well.
: Yeah... You, too.
: That was... One would usually call that being chased out...
Raine: I thought so...
I feel like Laguna's retelling of that story isn't 100% faithful.
: Well, I would say about a year or so.
: I was bed-ridden for over 6 months. It seemed like every bone in my body was in pieces.
Raine: I nursed him back to health.
Isn't that nice?
: Thank you, for taking good care of Laguna.
It must have been difficult, he's so dedicated to making bad decisions.
: After leaving the army... Well, just killing time, I guess. Life's pretty boring without you as entertainment, my man.
: That's a harsh thing to say. I've been living a productive life here.
: So, what do you want to know?
And now we have the chance to ask Kiros some questions. Let's start with the odd one out.
: ...Faeries? Yeah, I guess so...
: Then our work today should be a cinch.
: I'm looking forward to the battles.
If you choose the same option twice, you get a little thought from Laguna about that topic.
: Ward quit the army, too.
Jeez, these guys are a bunch of quitters.
: Luckily, he found a job and he's been working pretty hard.
: What's he doing?
: He's a janitor down at the D-District Prison.
I think the Forest Owls told Squall about that place back on their train.
: Can't picture him moppin' floors but I'm glad he's doing well.
: Oh, and he never got his voice back. You could basically tell what he wants from his facial expressions.
It's good to know that nobody died in Centra, at least.
Asking about Ward again gets this.
And there's only one topic left.
: ...How's Julia doing?
: I don't know...
Raine: You mean Julia, the singer?
: That's right.
Hey, last time she specifically said she couldn't write lyrics.
: Laguna really admired her and always frequented the night club.
: Shut up! So what if I did!
: No, she didn't sing. She just played the piano.
Raine: Then the first song she released was 'Eyes On Me'?
: H-How does the song go?
Raine: You don't know?
: Well, you never let me hear it!
Raine: I didn't think you listened to music. The song's about being in love... I really like it.
: Heard she recently got married.
Raine: Oh yeah!
So there's the information that lets you figure something out: Julia is Rinoa's mother. It's a little more obvious if you know they share a last name (Heartilly), but at this point the game basically spells it out for you.
: I'm not too sure.
Huh, I wonder who that could've been.
Nah, I'm messin' with you. It's Laguna.
Raine: General Caraway comforted her while she was feeling down. That's how they got to know each other.
: ...So she didn't wait for the soldier to come back...?
Well, his dumb ass spent half a year in a bed after he jumped off a cliff.
Laguna knows who the soldier is, but I think he's the only one.
: As long as she's happy, right? That's all that matters!
He's trying to cover. What a smooth guy.
This sequence is pretty nice because it gives you a good sense of how Laguna's been living after the Centra sequence, and because it's a reprieve from all the hectic running around of the Deling City sequence. There's a non-zero amount of plot and background info here, too, but it's really just nice to be able to stand around and chat after trying to kill the sorceress. I really like Winhill as an opener for disc two.
That's the end of the chat about Julia.
And there's Laguna's thought about it.
With that, all the dialogue options are exhausted.
: So, what's your plan? You're gonna stick around here for a bit, right?
: Would that be ok?
Raine: You work for what you eat. If that's fine with you, you're more than welcome.
So, with all that sorted, we're free to go to work.