Part 32: Part Thirty-Two: Monster HunterPart Thirty-Two: Monster Hunter
Well, it's time for Laguna and Kiros to get to work.
Here's a fun fact: in these sequences, Kiros and Ward usually have junctions already set, but Kiros doesn't here. It's easy to not check that and get a surprise when you get in a fight.
Lines like these are nice little displays of Laguna's life in Winhill. They're also very sweet.
Unfortunately, to go to work, we have to leave the pub. This is also a problem I face in real life.
At the bridge, Kiros starts a conversation.
: What exactly do you do here?
: It's like this. All the working men in this town were sent off to war. The only ones still left in town are old people, children, chocobos, dogs, and cats. And I'm sure you've noticed, but the monsters have made their way into town. This here town took real good care of me. So basically, I want to return the kindness.
Laguna is very proud of himself for this.
: So as of today, you'll be my assistant. We're to patrol the town up to the town entrance! If we see anyone in need along the way, we help them! That's our basic duty!
As useful as it is, and as amusing as it is to be the "monster hunter" while not hunting any monsters, it would be bad manners, so Enc-None is off for this one.
I still have Tornado junctioned to Str here, so Laguna's pretty powerful. The enemies around here aren't very tough anyway, though, so it's just overkill.
To make sure they got EXP, I just dumped all the GFs that weren't junctioned to Laguna off on Kiros.
I also used some old Abyss Worm cards I had lying around and made some Tornados for the guy.
Shit, might as well, right?
And we're off!
Winhill is a very scenic place. Shots like this would be great in a modern game, I think.
Along the way, we can pop into this flower shop.
: Thanks to everyone in town!
Old Woman: This town here must be quite dull for a young man like yourself. Perhaps it's time you returned to Deling City?
There's nothing else to do in the flower shop, but there's a Drain draw point over here.
Drain is okay on Vit or Spr, and it can be a semi-useful utility spell in a pinch, I guess. It can also be junctioned to your attacks to make them heal you.
Over here, we can see the huge-ass moon.
I also got into a random encounter. The enemies in Winhill are the same weak enemies we saw around Balamb Garden, and they still absolutely suck.
A Caterchipillar can't even have 1,170 HP until level 33.
There's a truck here, but we can't do anything with it. Probably something good underneath if we could move it, though.
This carriage isn't looking so hot, though.
Here's another encounter you can have in Winhill: Caterchipillar with Bite Bugs. Bite Bugs won't break 1,000 HP before level 58, they fuckin' suck. Like I said, enemies in Winhill are nothing to worry about.
At the end of the road is downtown Winhill.
There's nobody in this house.
And there's nobody in the hotel, either. Like Laguna said, there aren't a lot of people left around town.
Going upstairs, there are some nice flowers, but still no people.
It's just past there that we finish the patrol.
: We're to report to the commander and asst. commander.
: Commander... You mean that woman at the pub?
: Her name's Raine. Raine, OK!? She saved my life. And the asst. commander is Ellone.
: She seems like a really nice person. But easily taken in by a hotshot.
: A hotshot? OK, let's step up our patrol a notch. Asst. Kiros, let's come up with a plan after we get back to the base.
And now we just have to get back to the pub.
First, though, we can stop at this shop.
As you might gather from this, Laguna isn't really well-liked in Winhill.
: I just wanna chat.
Store Owner: ...How's Raine?
: Uhh, she's doing fine.
Store Owner: That's good. But it'd be even better if you left!
Like I said. They don't go into it really in-depth, but it's probably because he's a Galbadian soldier. The Galbadians aren't really popular.
Even though they hate Laguna, they like Raine, so they'll let him shop.
Too bad I'm Laguna right now, so I don't have any goddamn gil to buy Tents with. Now I'll never get more Curagas that I don't really need.
It's good to have manners when you don't have gil.
Now to run back across Winhill.
Partway back, Kiros took some hits and dropped to critical HP.
Due to this, I can fire off his Limit.
Blood Pain makes the screen turn into a rave while Kiros goes nuts on an enemy for six hits. The hits are slightly higher-powered than the hits in Squall's Renzokuken.
SquarEnix were so impressed by this display that they learned a new ability.
Their major ability set is the HP+ abilities (20%, 40%, 80%), which lead to HP Bonus. They can be very useful later on.
On the next screen is Winhill's famous Chocobo crossing.
It's pretty much impossible to see a Chocobo crossing sign and not have a chat about it.
: Are you doing this patrol thing everyday?
: 'Thing'!? What're you callin' 'THING'!?
: Weren't you aiming to become a world-travelling journalist? You've heard of 'Timber Maniacs', right? I had a talk with the chief editor. He said he's interested in any article related to world travel.
: That's great!
: We should go talk to him sometime.
This line is a pretty good summary of the point of this section. Laguna looking away when Kiros asks about journalism is a pretty stark contrast to how he talked about it with Julia, rambling about it and about how his letter to the editor got published. Our man Laguna is settling down.
We're almost back to the pub.
At the crossroads, Laguna starts the conversation back up.
: You need time to gather more material? This seems like a really nice town. You're gonna write about this place first, aren't you?
: No way. Can't make this place famous. Too much publicity and you get all those tourists and stuff.
: You're afraid someone might come and take Raine away? Laguna, you've changed, man.
Kiros is starting to get it.
Laguna hasn't changed completely, though.
He runs all the way back to town (about half a screen).
And hey, there even was a monster there. Would ya look at that?
Getting back to the pub, it looks like nobody's around.
I guess they've gone upstairs.
: (Girl talk... Let's come back later.)
Kiros shakes his head at Laguna wanting to leave. I guess someone has no manners.
: (Come on!)
: (Something inside tells me to listen.)
Looks like we're just stuck here eavesdropping and bein' rude.
So that's the story of how Raine and Laguna met. How romantic.
Raine seems to have some trepidations about the L-Man.
Ellone: Raine, Uncle Laguna and Elle should all be together!
Ellone has a powerful counter-argument.
Raine: I think what he really wants to do is travel all over the world. I don't think he has it in him to live in a quiet country town like this one. Some people are like that...
As I pointed out earlier, Laguna likes living with Raine in Winhill, but it sounds like he's conflicted.
Understandably, this is frustrating for Raine.
Ellone doesn't really understand, because she's just a kid.
Also, you can see here that Laguna and Kiros have ducked down to avoid being seen.
It sort of works.
Laguna pretends to have just run back.
Ellone, at least, is fooled.
: I came back in a hurry!
For whatever reason, the game gives you control after that line, so you can run downstairs for no reason.
Ellone has nothing very useful to say, so it's over to Raine to move things along.
I like Laguna's pose here.
Yes, that's a real count of monsters killed, and yes, if you have Enc-None, he proudly announces 0.
Raine is happy with the results either way.
Raine: Shall we eat before you get started with the next patrol? I'll call you when it's ready, so just wait in your room. You seem pretty tired. You should take a quick nap.
I've been waiting for that order since the SeeD exam.
And now it's back to Laguna's place.
There's no real point in not resting. Unless you feel a strong need to go fight some random encounters, I guess.
: Hm? What's the matter?
: Scared of waking up somewhere else... Scared of not seeing Ellone...
: Scared of not seeing Raine?
: Oh, please let it be this room when I wake up! Please let me be in this puny bed when I wake up!
: Laguna, you've changed.