Part 41: Part Forty-One: Going Down With the ShipPart Forty-One: Going Down With the Ship
After a whole lot of running around, we've found Cid.
Some people in the thread brought up the question of why Cid was left in his office - Xu's explanation is pretty lacking. So, here's my read. First of all, we're getting to Garden pretty early in the chaos; that whole deal hasn't been going on for more than a few hours. So, to buy time, the SeeDs made a big deal about moving Cid to the first floor using their Cid hologram &c. while Xu kept him here. If you pay attention when you're looking for Cid, Xu comes up from the entryway to the second floor emergency exit - it looks like she's looking for a safe route to get Cid out of the Garden. He's just up here while she comes up with a real plan. Anyway, we've found him.
Now we can ask him what to do.
Headmaster Cid: The intercom is down so we can't announce the order to evacuate.
: Xu, Raijin, and Fujin are taking care of that.
Headmaster Cid: I want you to assist them and then evacuate.
Squall has things to say. He can't just leave it.
This really isn't the time for making a report.
Cid salutes Squall here. He's dismissing him.
As usual, he only says part of what he means.
Headmaster Cid: I'm going to stay here and see this to the end. After all, this place is like my home.
This response coming from Rinoa is a quaint little irony, given her association with the Owls and their willingness to stay in Timber until the end.
Quistis is also opposed, but she's more formal about it.
Headmaster Cid: You can rest assured. I am just going to try something. There may still be a way to save the Garden.
As he goes to leave, Cid stumbles. There may be a way to save the Garden, but he's not the man for the job.
: (Against missiles...? How?)
This situation is a neat reversal of Squall's role from the TV station scenario. There, he wouldn't give Rinoa directions because it was her mission. Here, it's his mission, but he's still running to Cid for the plan.
The player gets control here, but Rinoa and Quistis don't have anything to say.
He told me to go help Xu and the others...
Fine, I'll help Cid.
Headmaster Cid: And why is that?
: (...I don't know... Because you might screw up. ...Because I want to do more than announce the evacuation. Because this place is important to me, too. Because I want to find out your plan. Because this is my home. I have too many reasons. I don't know why... Who cares?)
He says, lying.
Cid just ran a classic adult-talking-to-child play on Squall.
: (Why bother. And what is this? Why am I being judged?)
Squall is still only a child.
But he's right, this isn't the time for a teaching moment.
Cid tosses Squall a key here, but those last two shots make it look like Squall is trying to work out how remodelling something works.
Headmaster Cid: Use that key to open the lock on the elevator. Opening the lock will give you access to the MD level. Rumor has it that further below the MD level, there is some kind of control system. It was used when this place was still a shelter, so I've never seen it. And I have no idea what it does.
Oh, yeah, this plan sounds great. Stellar.
It's probably the fuckin' backup generator or something, dude.
Headmaster Cid: That's what I'm betting on.
: (Sounds pretty farfetched. But I guess it's better than doing nothing.)
: We'll find the control system and check it out.
Fuck it, might as well, right?
Headmaster Cid: Good luck to all of you.
You might be asking why Squall would go along with the plan to try out some unknown mechanism as a last-ditch defence. The answer is: A, he's desperate to save the Garden; B, he respects Cid. Cid's line on this situation is that the captain goes down with the ship, and Squall is thinking on similar lines.
Well, let's get on with our suicide.
Meanwhile, in the sky, the missiles are still coming towards Garden. We're on short time now.
So it's nothing less than extremely good when the elevator stops.
I have never been stuck in an elevator. It seems like a bad situation.
Of course the buttons aren't working. Nothing is ever easy.
But, thankfully, there's an escape hatch in the floor, so we can jump down the shaft and kill ourselves.
Nah, there's a ladder there. We're good to go.
It's a pretty long way down, eh?
Once we reach the opening, everyone runs into the hall.
Just in time for the elevator to drop down and block the way out behind us.
Nowhere to go but forward.
I don't think "stratum" is the right word here.
We have Elem-Atk-J, but I'll not be using it.
Here's a fun fact for you:
Squall will actually explain Elem-Atk-J if you say you have it.
I'm not doing the tutorial.
Oh, and I lied, I will be using Elem-Atk-J, just not very much.
Here's a shot of everyone getting onto a ladder. They didn't really know how to do that with the three models, I think.
The valve in here is pretty hard to open.
I couldn't do it with just one person.
So it turned into a team-building exercise, instead.
Another ladder, eh? Well, maybe we'll be far enough down that the missiles won't blow us up, at least.
I think this area, with the giant machinery, is pretty interesting-looking.
Besides the looks, this Full-Life Draw Point is also interesting. Full-Life is the shit, being the second-best HP junction in the game (behind Ultima).
One day I will have 100 Full-Life spells on everyone's HP, and they will have a lot of HP.
: We have to climb up again?
: I wonder where it's connected to?
: Looks like it's connected to that room.
: Make a decision, Squall.
This is a false choice. They all lead to the same result.
If we choose to have someone else go...
: (I'll have someone else check it out. Rinoa and Quistis... Rinoa...... Quistis......)
Squall decides he doesn't want someone else taking the risk, so he'll do it himself.
If we want everyone to go...
: Come on, we're all going. What else can we do?
: Do you think this ladder can support us? It looks unstable.
: (......) Alright, alright... I'll go take a look. You two wait here.
He's a little more reluctant in this one.
And, of course, if we choose to go ourselves, it just skips to the end.
So, let's go.
This is a long ladder.
If you look closely, no part of Squall is actually touching the ladder at this point.
At least he stuck the landing.
Window's fucked, though.
And so's the door.
Too bad this whole cheque is going to have to go towards the damages...
Of course I'm going to fiddle with this console.
Doing so makes the floor open up.
There's nothing else to be done in this control room.
: I didn't think you were going to make it this time. Didn't you think so?
Aw, they were worried about us.
And we get to respond to Quistis's question.
: Nothing new. Come on, let's go. We got work to do.
We can play it cool. After all, this isn't the most dangerous thing we've done in the last week.
: Maybe a little. Who cares. We have bigger things to worry about.
Or we can take the middle ground, since it was still dangerous.
: Yeah. But this is no time to be relieved. The missiles might be on their way.
Or we can straight-out say we were afraid. Maybe the constant stress is starting to get to Squall. Whatever we choose, though, the answers have a theme of Squall being more concerned about the larger situation than himself.
But, like he said, there's work to do, so let's mosey.
Downstairs is a save point.
So you're probably not too surprised to know that some monster jumps out at the party.
You might be a little more shocked by the second one (which you can barely see here, since it jumps out during the screen transition).
These weird-lookin' dudes are Oilboyles.
They're weak to fire.
And they have an ability called Sonic Wave.
Sonic Wave inflicts the Curse status, which stops characters from using Limit Breaks. So, if your whole strategy is to spam them, this can fuck you up a bit.
Or they can just spit nasty oil on you.
This still isn't a very hard fight. I did this one just for fun.
Jesus, another ladder? Are we going to the core of the fuckin' Earth here?
Back in the sky, we can see the missiles closing in. That's the Balamb coast in that shot.
We can also see the eyes that Galbadia put on their missiles, presumably to confuse the hell out of people before they blow them the fuck up.
Just in time, too.
Fuck if I know.
And now we've run into the minor difficulty of not only do we not know what this does, but we don't know how to make it do it.
: It looks so complicated.
: Just staring at it won't do any good.
Quistis is right.
So let's just hit shit at random.
Better than sitting on our hands.
: Do you know what you're doing, Squall?
Squall is, understandably, pretty frustrated here. We've come all the way down here, but there's no switch that says "save Garden on/off".
Things are looking pretty bleak.
But it looks like whatever switches he flipped at least did something.
Then, as we stand on it, the control panel starts rising up. You can't see Squall in that last shot because there's player control, so I ran him around in circles like an idiot asshole.
Oh, hey Cid.
Hope you weren't too attached to your decor.
Pictured: four people. Not pictured: any idea what's going on.
Pictured: what I do any time I have player control in one of these scenes.
As Squall runs tiny laps around the platform, the ring that was hovering above Garden starts to descend.
As it does, the structure itself changes.
Then it, uh, blows up.
Yeah, we're out of time.
I was just fuckin' with you, the Garden just kicked up a whole bunch of dirt.
That'll take care of the "blows up" bit.
I guess that panel made the Garden mobile.
And it emerges from the explosion intact.