The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy VIII

by Cool Ghost

Part 59: Part Fifty-Nine: Back to Balamb

Part Fifty-Nine: Back to Balamb

Thanks to our masterful subterfuge, we've managed to get into Galbadian-occupied Balamb.

It sounds like it's been hard times for the people here.

Zell's mother is important around here.

But, even though things haven't gone too crazy, tensions are mounting.

This woman just wants the Galbadians out.

The Galbadians themselves don't seem very chatty.

If we talk to this guy again, he starts ogling Quistis.

We can still get some info out of them, though. For what it's worth.

I don't know what they want with Ellone, but she must be important.

They didn't even give you a picture or anything?

Dude, you're looking for someone you know nothing about, I don't think Galbadia's going to rule anything.

Going over to the station, you can see some guys who are apparently having intestinal problems. (PS, there's no reason to hold back on buying shit.)

I guess the Galbadians can't get good food around here. Or someone is intentionally poisoning them.

The commander again. We'll get to the hotel shortly.

Inside the station, there's some logistics being worked out.

The Galbadians are apparently having some trouble with supply lines.

Good briefing, dude. And those guys are clearly aware of anything that could be a threat.

Galbadian Soldier: There's gotta be a more efficient way to find this girl. Just gather everyone and tie'em up. That's it. What? You gotta problem with that?

These guys aren't psyched about their jobs.

And neither is this guy.

I also worry about the meal plan when invading another country.

Like I said, Galbadia's got some supply line problems.

Anyway, while we're in the neighbourhood, let's go check in on Zell's place.

: Hey ma!

Zell's mother isn't in the kitchen like she usually is.

New mission: where's Ma Dincht?

Bam. Mission complete. That's why they pay me the big bucks. (NB: I got demoted again.)

: It's all in the brains, ma. We just said we had some info on Ellone. Piece o'cake!
Ma Dincht: What a relief... I was worried you might have beaten up one of the guards.

Wow, good thing we didn't start a fight. Might be bad with the fight we're probably about to start, though.

Squall is, as always, focussed on business.

Ma Dincht: I noticed a woman with the Galbadian army. Gray hair, patch over one eye...

The Sorceress has a lot of clout, but most people have never seen her. If she had actually gotten some screen time in Timber, she might have been able to work that mind-control magic on a much wider audience.

: Must be Fujin. So they're here...?

Looks like those two got back to Seifer while we were pissing around in the ocean.

It's kind of oblique, but Squall doesn't really care about Balamb.

Ma Dincht: The whole town's on edge. The residents, the soldiers...

She goes over and talks directly to Squall, but he doesn't answer her. Like I said, he doesn't actually care about Balamb.

The Big Bad Rascal and his mother are staying here while the G-Army's in town.

Zell is far more invested in this whole deal than Squall is. He's also something of a local hero, remember.

Mother of Big Bad Rascal: But maybe just one SOCK in the nose might be good.

Lady, I guarantee you we will kill at least one G-Soldier before this town is liberated.

: Wait, wait, wait... I thought you were concerned about me!?

Jeez, dude, it's just Galbadians.

Oh, now you're all bluster.

Do not kick me, you piece of shit.

Yeah, have fun outside, you shin-kicking fucker.

He stops to wave.

Well, I could have stopped him.

Oh for sure.

Well, that's all there is to do here right now. Let's go take a nap.

: That's my room up there! It's sacred! You can't go in!

Hey Zell, do you like getting paid?

: ...All right...

Of course, Squall's not the type to take that tack. So we'll have to hold off on that nap for now.

Let's check out the neighbours' place. This is where we heard about Hyne way back in the day.

Hotel Owner's Daughter: I can't take it! I can't take it anymore!

The hotel owner's daughter is not dealing well with the occupation of Balamb.

And the old man seems kind of fatalistic about the whole thing. Balamb is not a cheery place these days.

Hmm. I thought I might have been able to talk to the hotel owner and his wife for that kid, but we're stuck in town.

Another person happy to see Zell. These lines might make more sense if Zell were leading the party.

Lady: Do something about these soldiers! They walk about like they own this place!

Fun fact: I think the lady was shittalking Zell way back when we came through town on the way to Timber.

I was vaguely aware, yes.

Camo Jacket Guy: Any bit of information is fine. Pretty generous, aren't they?

Yeah, they're a regular charity.

The second time you talk to the guy, he's got some ideas about fixing the situation.

I honestly don't think anyone in this town knows why Edea's looking for Ellone.

Yeah, and maybe Elvis and the Bat-Boy are hanging around.

Man, I came all the way to the hotel and now I'm getting dicked around with this.

Oh yeah. I have tons of information on Ellone. Fuckin' scads.

Galbadian Soldier #2: Hmmmm... More rumors?
Galbadian Soldier #1: You know we'll get a salary cut if we let'em through without confirmation.
Galbadian Soldier #2: Yeah, I know... In this army your salary gets cut based on just how the boss is feeling.

Jesus, you guys need a union.

Galbadian Soldier #2: I guess it goes with the territory when you can't choose your own boss.
: Yo, listen! We have top secret info! Bring the commander out here!

...They don't believe us.

They're looking at us again.

...Who's the captain?

Awesome. Now we have to go find some other guy.

But first, a little bit of side content. If we go back to the Zell'sneighbours's, the Big Bad Rascal is hangin' out.

Little Girl: ...But... There's a soldier there...

He wants to help, but the girl is a skeptic.

Big Bad Rascal: I'm faster than a speedin' bullet! I can outrun anyone!

The Rascal is undeterred.

Little Girl: ...But...
Big Bad Rascal: TRUST ME!

Well, there he goes, I guess.

At this point, if you go back to the town entrance, the Rascal is there (you can see him on the left, under the leaves).

He'll try to sneak out and wave over the hotel owner, but unfortunately the guard sees him and he has to book.

So we're gonna use a genius strategy of talking to the guard and then just staring slack-jawed while the Rascal does his business.

There's no timing puzzle here. You just open the dialogue box and wait for stuff to happen on the left.

The guard'll still run out, but by then it's too late.

Thanx man indeed.

Big Bad Rascal: I was able to talk to the hotel man while you distracted the guard!

I was there, dude, you don't have to explain it.

And this is the reward for this "quest." Now we can leave and come back whenever we want.

Little Girl: I'm gonna keep'em as a good luck charm. I'll be ok now.

There's also a small change over here, in that the little girl now has a rare card. I'll get it later, but it's there.

: Let's just go to my room and rest.

Also, since we went to the hotel, we now have access to Zell's room as a surrogate inn.

Whoever's in the third slot does a little victory animation and Zell gets pissed about it.

But, the end result is the same.

: It's so clean for a guy's room.

Squall's room is pretty neat too, to be honest.

: Hey?

: Heh-heh. Once you reach my caliber, you've gotta have more than one.

Oh my god, what a dork.

Quistis literally just starts laughing at him when he says that.

: What? What's so funny?
: Hahaha... I just remembered something.

: ? What incident?

And that's the story of how Zell crashed into the ladies' room.

The thing is, every third-slot party member has a different reaction to Zell's room.

Well, technically every member, but Squall's is just that you can punch the punching bag.

And this is where the Rascal comes in.

See, you can leave and re-enter town to change your party.

Also, for some reason, you can take Selphie into Balamb, but you can't leave with her.

Hotel Owner: I wish I could be with her. I'm worried about grandpa, too.

Now that they've gotten news, the hotel owner and his wife feel a little bit better, at least.

There's no real reason to leave Balamb, but it baffles the guard that we somehow got past him.

Of course, he let us out.

Now, through the magic of reloading, we can take Selphie to see Zell's room!

Please note that Squall says this every time, so I'm not going to show it again after this.

Zell can't even finish his sentence.

: Yo! I just finished sayin' not to touch anything! And now you're on my bed!

It is, of course, somewhat ironic that Zell keeps his room so neat.

: You should feel honored that a very, very cute girl sat on your bed, you know!

Oh man, she's dragging Squall into it now.

I like that Squall has the serious thinking pose here.

I think this option is more in-character for Squall.

Look at Zell's cool lean while he just agrees with Squall. What a dork.

This is one of the few Selphie lines that I read as being actually worried/offended. She does hold Squall in high regard, after all.

She's back to semi-playful here, though.

She is kidding, though the game does play the little rank down sound effect when she says it.

Or we can take Selphie's side.

: You're siding with her, Squall...?

Zell can't believe it. The authority has turned on him.

: Wow! Now you're gettin' it, Squall!

Vindicated, Selphie gets back to relaxing.

Well, what'cha gonna do?

And, like I said, you can't take Selphie out of Balamb, so she's just dumped out of your party when you leave. There's technically a reason for this (she's supposed to be resting) but the fact that you can take her in with you makes it a little absurd.

Galbadian Soldier: Oh... Ok then...

Coming back in for another scene, the guard still can't really do anything about us going in and out. It would be kind of darkly funny if you left once and could just never get back in and the game became unwinnable.

This time I brought Irvine to hang out.

He tries to play it cool, but is immediately fascinated with Zell's wall guns.

: These are some o'them old-school rifles!
: Those are my grandpa's! Don't even think about it.

Zell does not want Irvine to play with his guns.

Christ, what a dork.

Zell's all bashful now cuz someone thinks his antique guns are cool.

The screen goes black and there's a gunshot.

: (......I knew he would...)

PS, Squall's an asshole.

Let's bring our last character over.

Rinoa is fascinated by the picture above Zell's dresser.

: He wasn't just strong. He knew when to attack, when to retreat... Any kind of situation, he maintained his composure and stayed cool...

Zell's pretty passionate about this.

Damn, dude.

Rinoa just starts laughing her ass off at the whole thing.

: It's probably none of my business, but... Maybe you're being a little too 'cool', Squall...?

Squall doesn't like it.

Zell is the kind of person who always tries to align himself with some authority.

Get outta here, Zell.

Anyway, now that we've seen all the reactions, let's get Quistis back in here and get back to that captain hunt.