The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy VIII

by Cool Ghost

Part 53: Part Fifty-Three: Casting Off

Part Fifty-Three: Casting Off

You know, I think he'd get a better sleep if he wore something more appropriate.

Who is this kid, anyway?

Haha, nah, it's Squall. Fuckin' gotcha.

Squall but Young: But I'm doing my best...

The Youthful Squall: I'll be able to take care of myself.

We don't know a lot about Squall's past, but it looks like he lost a sister in some capacity. I guess that would explain the "again" I mentioned during his monologue last time, and helps us understand his whole lone wolf schtick. This isn't a long scene, but it's key to understanding Squall properly, and it's thematically important, too. Try not to forget about it.

Seriously, though, who wears boots in bed?

: (...What is it now?)

You know, the thought occurs that Squall being called to the bridge means someone else is already awake and at the bridge. Maybe it would behoove the Garden's new boss to buy an alarm clock.

Well, we've been called to the bridge.

So let's fuck around a bit. Glad to see the cafeteria lady is happy we found her kid. Crashed the Garden into FH just for you.

Diamond are proud of Squall. One has to wonder why the card princesses have new dialogue after every major event, but Dr. Kadowaki only ever asks if Squall's been injured again.

Let's put game design mysteries on the backburner, though, because it's time for DEEP LIBRARY COMMITTEE LORE.

I've learned so much today.

Oh my god, you check out books at the library, not girls.

Squall just looks so cross about this whole thing, like he's not just standing around listening to people flirt.

"There's a fuckin' line, buddy."

I...feel like you might not have much of a future as a SeeD.

I just wanted to know if you had the new "Weapons Monthly."

Jesus Christ, it's like a high school.

I don't actually know how to land, so you might be wrong on that.

Do you think people would be able to send mail to the Garden now that it's mobile?

I was going to make a joke about this guy having to write that test way back in the fourth update, but then I realised it's only been a couple of weeks since then in-game.

Yeah, that guy's a total dick. I pull out my gunblade in the hallway and get fuckin' demoted? What the hell is that?

Ah, more lore.

You might remember that this girl was excited about a mystery novel way back at the beginning of the game.

Also, apparently the faculty were: A, in charge of library acquisitions; B, shitty at it; C, dumped into the ocean after we killed NORG.

I wonder what was in the library before. Probably five hundred technical manuals on gunblades.

I guess the only magazine in this place was the Occult Fan we picked up way back.

Despite all the new dialogue in the library, this guy has nothing new to say.

I wonder if there's any point to studying now. What happens to SeeD after we fight the sorceress? Do they just wait for the next one?

Can't think of a better one.

Leaving and coming back, we can find this committee member who's excited about travel. I wonder if the place really moves without spending a Gil. What does the Garden use as fuel?

Garden moving is kind of a theme right now (what a shock). Nobody really knows how it works, though.

Here's a fun fact: if you encounter one of the auto-started conversations around Garden, you can still talk to people and make them talk over themselves. This also means you're fucked on seeing that conversation.

I had to actually reload a save to get this to pop again, but it's worth it. Sister lore is key.

Guy with a sick sister: Oh, she came down with a cold.
Girl (may or may not have a sick sister): Oh no. Is she okay?
Guy with a sick sister: Huh? Oh yeah, she's fine. Dr. Kadowaki said it's just a cold.

Now you know the sister lore.

Why are you in a classroom? You're probably disrupting people.

Man, you couldn't get the sorceress to touch you to kill you.

Get the fuck out of my Garden, Kinneas.

The real reason we came into the classroom was not to talk to Irvine (who we are going to send back to Galbadia at our earliest convenience).

We're here to look at the Balamb Garden Forums thread celebrating Squall's promotion.

And then to go to Selphie's website, where everything's bright colours and the cursor's a fucking flower!

: (It's not like I've given up on this one yet!)

It sounds like we got the concert instead of the Garden Festival (which would probably have been a larger affair).

There's also a brand new section here called "my friends" and that's a great name for a section on a website. Hell yeah, friends!

This is where we can read blurbs from all of Selphie's friends.

Fuck yes.

Fuck. No.

: Well, I'm here from Galbadia Garden for personal reasons. I think I fit in quite well. What do you all think? With so many cuties here, I look forward to gettin' up in the mornings.

Just came over here to tell you I hate you.

: (You seem like a good guy but... I don't know...)

I think Irvine is the first person that Selphie is openly uncomfortable about. Selphie thought Seifer was cool.

: Yo, s'up? It's Zell Dincht. ...The hell do I write? Yeah, I know. I said I'd write somethin' but I have nothin' to write. Oh, wait...I-love-hot dogs. You know, the ones that're always sold out? Anyway, that's it for me!

That's all there is for friends at the moment, so let's check out Selphie's diary. Cid specifically told us that it had updated.

Back at Garden I posted:

Well, I come back from my shaky first mission, and what do I find? Garden in chaos!
First of all, let me tell you about my first mission(among other events.)
Oh yeah! Booyaka!
I'm doing fine!
Our first mission was in Timber. I can't tell you details about it, but in one word, it was a failure. I keep telling myself the enemy was stronger than us...Grr...We should've won...!
Well, an accident happened during our mission. The sorceress appeared! Yes, THE sorceress! Her name's Edea.
Anyway, Seifer appeared outta nowhere. Then Edea took him off to who knows where. We tried to make it back to the Garden, but the trains were down so we ended up going to Galbadia Garden. That Garden is quite different from ours. It kinda reminded me of the army or something...

The first series of updates here gives us a little summary of events, as well as some of Selphie's perspective.

Back at Garden II posted:

Well, we received a new order at Galbadia Garden, but I don't think I can write that here. Based on the outcome, well...we failed again. The enemy's way too strong!
Our target was Sorceress Edea. (Oops, I wrote it...)
Hmm...the most recent and infamous sorceress is Adel, right? The sorceress behind the Sorceress War, back when we were kids...?
We learned in history class that Sorceress Adel disappeared and the war just kinda ended, right? A sorceress inherits the power from another sorceress, so I think that Edea's the one that received Adel's powers.
Just when Sorceress Edea and the President of Galbadia joined forces, she wiped out the president. Which means, Sorceress Edea is now controlling Galbadia. This is exactly like the Sorceress War with Esthar. Time to bring out the SeeDs!

This one has a little bit of lore in it, telling us that Adel was the one in charge of Esthar during the war, and drawing the connection between Adel and Edea. I also get the impression that Adel took over Esthar by coup, similar to Edea, which might explain some of why all those people left and started FH.

Back at Garden III posted:

Well, we failed our mission and we even failed to retreat. As a result, we ended up in a prison in the desert of Galbadia. Our leader was tortured and we were locked up, but we managed to escape! When you're locked up, the only thing you think about is escaping, right? I hope we did the right thing. Or was that against orders?
Oh, well...
After we escaped, I heard some terrible news. Edea was going to get rid of all SeeDs by launching missiles at Garden! It's quite obvious that Edea despises SeeD and wants to get rid of Garden, which trains the SeeDs. Anyway, after hearing about the missiles I just couldn't stand still. So, I asked our leader, Squall (who did a great job by the way), to divide up the party so that one team could infiltrate the missile base.

This one's a pretty straight summary. The only important bit is that Edea hates SeeDs, in case you missed it/attributed her actions just to wanting revenge. I think this is the clearest the game says that.

Back at Garden IV posted:

The 2 teams were the messenger team and the missile base team. I was on the missile base team and was messing around with the computers to save Garden. ...I heard it was a close call? But as long as we're all safe, right? Anyway, after messing up the computer, we tried to escape, but oh-oh! We couldn't get out of the base! Never in my whole life did I ever think so seriously that I was going to die...
But we were very lucky. We were able to get inside the robot we were fighting. Its armor was what actually saved us from the explosion in the end. That's the only time I was thankful for Galbadia's weaponry.

Back at Garden V posted:

So anyway, we were inside that robot and made our way over here.
...Well, not exactly.
We were inside but we had no idea how to control it. To make matters worse, we were picked up by the Galbadian army and brought over to FH. We were pressing all the buttons, trying to get out, when we realized we were fighting with Squall and the others. I'm sorry. We weren't attacking you. Just trying to get out!
It's true! Really!
In any case, Balamb Garden is safe. (It is, right?) And so are we. (I guarantee it!)
...I'm just worried about Trabia Garden. I hope everyone's all right...

This one explains the fight with BGH251F2 at FH. Turns out Selphie didn't resent Squall for sending her to the Missile Base, she just can't drive a tank. It also implies that it's been less time than I thought, since they probably weren't in there for weeks. The timeline's still unclear, though.

There's also a short entry here about the stage getting wrecked in the crash. Kind of a bummer, but at least it all worked out in the end.

The Day Squall Was Appointed Leader posted:

Squall was appointed as the leader of Garden!!! Heeey, I didn't know he was already famous within this Garden.
Oh... I get it... That's why...
Yeah, Squall can do it. So we should all support him!
People think Squall seems a bit stoic, a bit scary at times, but I don't think that's true at all. He's always thinking to himself, but just doesn't like to say it. From what I see, I think he hates explaining stuff. I guess he's just not used to it. Plus, I don't think he likes to meddle in other people's business...
Heeey, this isn't a corner dedicated to analyzing Squall!
We all have to back him up!

Besides Rinoa, Selphie might have the highest opinion of Squall out of all our party members. Quistis is up there too, and nobody thinks badly of him, but I think Selphie is the most enthusiastic. She even believed in Squall when it looked like she was about to die at the Missile Base.

Preparing for the Concert posted:

The Garden Festival seems to be out, but the chances of a concert are pretty high. All thanks to everyone at FH! I'm really looking forward to it.
I'm head over heels about it!

It's nice to see she was happy for the concert.

Sensibly, the most recent update is about the concert. I guess she wrote this while Squall was sleeping in until noon and derelicting his duty.

Since we've come back, there's also a new section here.

It's got a new background and everything, featuring Selphie with Julia's old piano in Deling City.

: No, actually, I call him Sir Laguna. He is such a hunk! (At least that's what I think.)

Selphie has a little crush on Laguna.

: It seems Sir Laguna was writing articles in Timber Maniacs while traveling. I'll be posting some of Sir Laguna's articles here.

This is the reason for all those old issues of Timber Maniacs we've found in the wild.

Let's check it out.

Laguna's first article, which we got from the Timber Maniacs we picked up at the hotel in Balamb before we went to Timber. The picture is of the editor's office in the Timber Maniacs building.

: He brought an article called 'Alcohol Will Change You', but it got rejected. I think Sir Laguna's a lightweight!

Selphie's blurb about this one alludes to the fact that finding this issue of Tim Mani changes the scene you get with Julia during the flashback.

This is from the issue we found in the Timber Maniacs office; the picture is of the dig site that Laguna explored.

: But actually...I know what it is! This is where Sir Laguna went scouting. Was it ok for this to be published? I guess he really needed the money.

The third entry is from the issue we found at the Grease Monkey's place in FH. It's some lake, I guess.

: I hope Sir Laguna was all right... But what breathtaking scenery! I wanna go, too! I wanna go, I wanna go, I wanna go!

Despite being about the hotel in Balamb, this is found at the hotel in FH.

: So Sir Laguna went to Balamb, too. Looks like Sir Laguna likes hotels. The article says he really wanted to stay at the hotel but ran out of money. He wasn't able to try the famous Balamb fish.

We'll have to come back here the next time we find an issue, I guess.

Finally getting to the bridge...

: Don't call me that.
Xu: We thought you should have a title. So Quistis and I decided on commander.

In the Japanese version, Squall's title is, 委員長, which translates to "chairman".

: Sorry to carry things out on our own, but Xu and I assigned duties.

So yeah, Squall isn't in charge of everything, despite being called the commander. It's also kind of funny to see that Quistis has apparently given herself a promotion back to something above just a regular SeeD.

Xu does logistics. This is logistics. Xu will do this.

Quistis, having been fired as a teacher, now works in HR.

This leaves Squall free to do what he does best.

: And, ah... Will you let Selphie rest a while? I think she's exhausted from the missile base mission. She could use some rest. How does that sound to you?

Seems alright.

: Fine...

Squall does not want to be the commander.

Xu does logistics.


Do I...know you?

Oh! You're the guy who pissed himself! Speaking of ready to go anytime, right?

Nida: Oh yeah. I'll be piloting the Garden.

Better you than me, buddy.

Well, there shouldn't be any more crashes, then.

Nida: Let me know when you want to go.
: Any suggestions on where we should go?

The...sorceress's house? Let's just kill her, whatever.

I mean, is the sorceress there?

Xu: We don't know what's happened since we left. Besides, Balamb may be their next target. It's a harbor town, just like FH.

The Galbadians might know Ellone is travelling by sea.

: You're right. Squall, what do you think?

Pictured: me desperately trying to leave the bridge, which the game would not let me do.


: It doesn't seem something as simple as world domination...

Maybe she just wants to kill all SeeDs. She seemed big on SeeD killin'.

We cannot visit Selphie right now.

And if we go over to Xu, she, uh...

Oh, it's CC stuff.

Xu: But this is good. I haven't been able to find a worthy opponent lately.

That's 'cause everyone here is shit at cards.

Xu: That's right. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Xu.


Isn't that other woman the Card Queen? Is this like in history, when all those guys would just declare themselves pope and excommunicate each other?

Xu: Whenever you're ready, let's go.

So, this is our next stop in the CC quest.

...As soon as I get her to stop doing this. I don't want to mix rules into Balamb's set.



Xu: ...... Oh well... You're only the second person to defeat me. The other is the CC Group leader King, the Card Master. Now that you've defeated the 4-Suits, you'll eventually play the King. Maybe you can look for the King yourself. Well, let's play for fun from now on.

I'm not about to make a habit out of playing cards with Xu, now that I have her Carbuncle card.

Also, Nida is just fascinated by Xu being Heart.

Xu, you just announced it like a minute ago. Right before I whooped your ass at cards.

Breaking news: Quistis knows a thing about her friend.

Now that we've sorted out Xu's card thing, she'll talk about Ellone and the White SeeD ship.

Xu: I mean, who are all those people on that ship?

Well, they said they were Edea's SeeDs.

There is nothing else to do at the moment.

: We're taking off. I'll direct you to our destination. Announce the departure.
Nida: Roger!

Finally, Balamb Garden is back in the game.

This will probably involve a lot of people falling on their asses.

Nida, start training your replacement, because you are fired.

Oh yeah, laugh it up.


And now we get to make a party!