Part 46: Part Forty-Six: No More DriftingPart Forty-Six: No More Drifting
We are clearly extremely welcome here.
: We are representatives of the Garden and we come in peace.
Welcoming Committee: ......
They just couldn't want us here more.
Better to be somewhere we're not welcome than to die on the ocean, I guess.
Probably a good place to start.
: We'll do just that.
PS, it wasn't really a request.
I can't imagine what crashing a vehicle the size of the Garden into it would do to, say, a building. I don't think there's much precedent.
: I'm terribly sorry. It was inevitable... We lost control of the Garden.
Well, I don't know about "inevitable". The ocean's pretty big.
That's a fucking miracle.
I should hope so!
The tone of this exchange really changes in the middle.
And now we're free to enter the town proper.
Here's a fun fact about FH: in the game it's "Fishermans Horizon" but the theme of the place is (more grammatically) "Fisherman's Horizon":
We can even take in some local sights, like the enormous moon.
And the enormous set of mirrors to reflect its image (they're actually solar panels).
And this guy.
He's got some advice for us. Thanks, guy.
It's almost impossible to see, but there's a ladder here that you can go down.
It leads here.
Then you can take another little ladder up.
...And find the old fishin' guy from the FMV where Garden crashed into FH.
The ultimate truth of Final Fantasy VIII is that Squall hates fishing.
The Master Fisherman is pretty chill, considering that we almost killed him earlier.
He's not completely over it, though.
Or maybe he is? Damn, this old man is inscrutable as hell...
Master Fisherman: I'm just kiddin', boy. I'm so good I can fish anywhere in this world.
Pretty good. This guy is, like, a journeyman fisherman for sure.
Master Fisherman: I'm not a master for nothin'. Thanks for comin' here. Here, let me give you this.
You might remember Occult Fan from when we found the first issue way back at the start of the game. You can only get this from the Master Fisherman if you go down the ladder right when you first enter FH.
At least you can't lock yourself out of it by choosing the wrong dialogue option.
And that's all he has to say.
I mean, unless I bother him again.
Master Fisherman: Oh yeah, do me a favor, boy. My pupil is at the docks. Haven't spoken to him for a while. If you go there, talk to that lonely twerp will ya?
That's really his last line. Gives us something to do, at least.
I find this huge, rusted structure very impressive. It may or may not have come up before, but I like the environments in this game.
By the way, he's a "Familiar Face" because he was in the welcoming committee earlier.
Now, let's go to town.
Familiar Face: So, you guys going to Esthar?
We've heard the name before, but we don't know much about Esthar, other than they fought Galbadia during the Sorceress War and then disappeared from the public eye.
Familiar Face: You know...that hi-tech city. It's just beyond the train tracks.
We haven't seen it on the world map, but FH is right in the middle of a long railway bridge. We couldn't get here earlier because some Galbadian Army guy had parked his car in the way.
Familiar Face: I guess you're not going there. A Lot of people who stop here go there.
Apparently, despite being reclusive as hell, Esthar is a popular tourist destination.
Familiar Face: The trains are down, so the best way to get there is walk from here. What a joke, huh?
I wonder if anyone's come back from Esthar in the last 17 years.
Familiar Face: Anyway... You guys had an accident and came here, huh? I guess I shouldn't keep you.
Now we can ride the elevator!
At the bottom of the elevator is a pretty cool view of the Garden.
We also have the change to gab with some more locals.
Squall's ashamed because SeeDs are world-renowned for their good driving.
Familiar Face #3: I heard that you guys are, like, mercenaries, and basically fight anybody for money. Are you happy with that kind of life?
#3 here isn't even bothering with politesse.
: (What's his problem? Is he trying to pick a fight?)
Familiar Face #3: Never mind. The way you live your life is none of my business. Just don't cause us any problems.
: (...He sounds just like me. I guess it doesn't sound very nice.)
And there's a nice little bit of self-awareness from Squall, plus a reminder that he doesn't mean to be an asshole to other people.
Past that, we find this overlook.
And this Save Point. The mayor's house is pretty cool-looking here.
Well, that's not bad.
Before we talk to the mayor, let's take a walk around the place.
This gives me the chance to amuse myself by bothering the locals.
And by talking to drunk people.
This is a busy-lookin' place.
We could stay at the inn, but there's not much reason to.
More importantly, we can get onto the FH message boards.
Like in Balamb, we don't have to pay to enter the room at the inn.
For whatever reason, your party members won't speak to you in here.
But you can read the old Timber Maniacs they left lying around. Keep your eyes on the prize, &c.
Over here is some guy who's gonna tell Squall about young NORG creationism or some shit.
: What are you talking about?
Boatman: NORG. He's a shumi, so he should evolve.
Boatman: What? You don't know diddly-squat, do you?
Buddy, that has been well established.
Boatman: Ah...don't worry about it. You'll start gettin' it soon.
As far as what this is about, you may remember that back when we killed NORG, a weird ball of light or something showed up. That's NORG's egg, and one day it will hatch into whatever NORG is going to evolve into.
This guy is worried about it, but it's not important, at least in the short term (i.e., the length of the game).
Over here, we can chat with some kid about fishing. Probably a popular pastime here.
Squall doesn't seem like a big fishing guy, but hey, let's humour the kid.
And so, he casts his line...
...And there's a sound of breaking glass behind him.
Kid's just good at fishing.
Shopkeeper: This always happens when he shows off.
Fisherkid: That's weird. Why did my line go backwards? Maybe I don't have enough weight.
Well, ya win some ya lose some.
One example of winning some is getting these Shell spells from the Shell Draw Point.
We can also talk to the Fisherkid some more.
Let's tell him the old fisherman impressed us.
Like I said, humour the kid.
Fisherkid: I heard he was still fishing when the Garden came smashing toward the docks. He was fishing till the last minute. Amazing, huh?
It's something, that's for sure.
Fisherkid: That's right. I knew he wasn't a loser, like some people said. Smart people can tell he's a great man. Thanks. I'm gonna start working hard now.
Good luck, Fisherkid.
Your follow-through could use some work, though.
Dude, we are at sea.
There's that follow-through again.
By the way, the shopkeeper's shop dialogue changes a bit after you talk to the Fisherkid the second time (before this, he just says "What will it be?").
Fisherkid's got one more in him.
As usual, he ends up bugging the shopkeeper rather than catching fish.
It's a little worse than a broken window this time.
The music changes from the normal FH theme to the danger theme here.
Luckily, Squall is here and can cast a spell to break the line.
So nobody has to die here.
Fisherkid's pretty impressed at Squall's magic (even though there's no spell animation).
The shopkeeper's not feeling it.
Shopkeeper: YOU ALMOST GOT ME KILLED! YOU...
And that's the end of that.
The Fisherkid will no longer perform fishing rod tricks for us.
Now that that's sorted, let's enter this man's home without permission. Real SeeD work.
Grease Monkey: We're both artisans and share a lot in common, so we get along real good.
Congratulations on having friends, I guess.
Wow, making fun of someone's disfigurement...what a dick.
Past that guy's place is the town square. You can sort of tell that that sign is the facade of a train station, since that's what FH was before it was FH (which I suppose means that there was a train station in the middle of the ocean just for fun?).
There's not much going on in the station square, honestly.
I admire this kid's moxie, being a character who only exists to play cards.
There are a couple new rules here: Sudden Death means you play a second game if the first ends in a tie, except the cards are flipped to whatever side they were at the end of the first game.
Elemental puts little markers down on the board, and if your card matches the markers it gets a +1 to all its stats; if it doesn't match, it's a -1 (which is happening to this kid's Abyss Worm here).
I have no reason to ever play cards with you again, so I mean you're technically right.
This guy's going for a jog, but Squall's going to bother him and throw off his rhythm. Real SeeD work.
And here's the station proper. It doesn't see a lot of use, so lore-wise it's just a place people go to gather scrap metal.
There's a Haste Draw Point here, but it's tough to find because there's no reason to ever come here. Nice to have, though.
The tracks are blocked, so you can't leave town.
So, let's go see the mayor.
This is a pretty cool background that scrolls as you run down the stairs, with the top of the solar panels moving up the screen.
...Well, that's the theory, anyway.
And here's the mayor's house, with its neat built-into-a-tree architecture.
Around the side of the mayor's digs is this sad-lookin' guy.
Look at that, it's our man Martine. That's right, the motherfucker who played us and almost got Squall killed.
Martine: Banished from Galbadia Garden... Everything I built up, gone.
Turns out that didn't go so well for the guy.
Martine: After wandering around mindlessly... The people of this town welcomed me with open arms. The townspeople encouraged me to start over. Very kind, even towards a man like me who has nothing.
Hey, look on the bright side: Edea could have killed you like she did the president!
That's all we can do with Martine right now, so let's talk to the mayor.
And check out his neat dome.
Here's a fun fact: this guy's Japanese name is ドープ駅長, which is more accurately translated as Station Master Dope.
Tune in next time to see Squall's diplomatic chops!