Part 71: Part Seventy-One: Calm After the StormPart Seventy-One: Calm After the Storm
As usual, the disc begins with a protagonist in or around a bed.
We beat Edea, but something weird happened, and there are still a lot of opened questions.
Like this one.
The scene jumps to Rinoa in the infirmary, posed as if she were dead. She's not - Kadowaki's a good enough doctor to be sure of that.
There's not much time for reverie, though, as Quistis cuts in on the PA.
: Head to Edea's House at once. The Sorceress Edea... Matron is back at the orphanage.
You might not want to announce her location too freely around here, Quistis.
Kadowaki's not in the infirmary at the moment, but you can leave and come back and she'll show up. I apparently missed a shot of this particular instance, but she's still the same person.
Dr. Kadowaki: Squall, be a dear, and take care of things till I get back, ok?
Then she leaves. As far as I know, she doesn't come back. Anyway, let's get to the bridge.
...By way of every person I can find in Garden.
The place has quieted down significantly since the start of the game.
If you go to the quad, you can still see this screen. There is never anything to do on this screen except remember that Rinoa arbitrarily got into danger right before she got into much worse, less arbitrary danger.
The chronic hot dog shortage continues, which seems irresponsible. Do they have other food? Is everyone just starving?
Since a major event has happened, these guys have new dialogue.
These guys mainly sit around and complain but hey, they were there, they fought.
And they made it! Congrats to these guys.
Squall could easily promote these guys right here.
Well, there you go. Everyone's favourite losers made it through.
Over by the parking lot is another group that shows up a lot. If you squint, though, you might notice that they're one short.
Since it's Garden incidental dialogue, it's easy to miss, but I think it's neat that they tied the battle to these girls' story.
Their friend being in the infirmary also parallels Rinoa, for what it's worth (absolutely nothing, but it's a neat touch).
If you go to the training centre, you can find this magazine that was...dropped in the chaos? I have no idea why this appears.
But with it, we've filled the gap in our Weapons Monthly collection. There's only one more to find in the game.
I think the Twin Lance (and, by extension, the Punishment) looks neat, but there's really no reason to upgrade to it, since it doesn't add any new finishers for Renzokuken.
The Ulysses looks silly.
There's also no point to going out of your way to upgrade to any of the other weapons in this magazine. I'm ambivalent about weapons in this game - I like the upgrading process, trading items for weapons and having fewer of them overall, but the way the game handles also makes them mostly pointless since they have no special features.
Outside the library, we can find Zell.
: She still in a coma? Don't take it too hard. She'll snap out of it eventually.
His heart's in the right place, but holy shit this is an awful thing to say to someone whose girlfriend is in a coma.
Over here is this girl who wanted to be a SeeD, and whom we rescued in the classroom.
For whatever reason, talking to her reminded me to rename these two GFs. There you go.
Let's also take a moment to look at DoomHouse's abilities. He starts with Abilityx3, which is handy.
Revive is a command that revives an ally from KO with full HP, replacing Full-Life in utility without costing a spell. Pretty handy if you think you're gonna end up in a tight spot.
Med Data makes healing items heal twice as much. Gotta get 22 abilities somehow.
High Mag-RF is the successor to Mid Mag-RF, as well as the one I decided to learn for now.
Then I threw ol' Doomy on Squall, which has the side effect of letting me boost his Str even higher.
I mean, I think we sort of started this one, so...yes?
Over by the map, the Diamond girls have a bit darker outlook on the result of the battle.
Now, in our quest to bother everyone, let's go downstairs.
There, some new friends have shown up. You might also notice that NORG's "egg" has hatched, meaning he's been reborn. It's never stated what he transforms into, but Shumi transform into what's in their hearts, so my fan theory is: NORG just died. All that wealth and political power, and he died like a dog.
Traveller: NORG was one of us. We came to apologize on behalf of our village for NORG's actions.
Tarveller: Our appearances change according to what's in our hearts.
This explains why NORG is so fat and shitty-looking.
This is something of a repeat from Shumi Village, but NORG's whole thing raises some questions for these guys. He was really a piece of shit, and it makes them doubt that they're really any different.
Anyway, that's what happened to NORG. Upstairs, we can find Selphie, who's still posting, and Irvine, who's still creepin'. These two don't have new lines for whatever reason.
Selphie does, however, have a couple new posts up on her blog.
Rinoa really loves the Garden, and was totally willing to put her life on the line even though she's not getting paid for it. Of all the party members, Rinoa is the most unambiguously heroic. I think she gets a bad rap, but I quite like Rinoa.
The other thing to see is that Selphie posted a new diary entry, proving that she is a liar who's getting demoted.
I really like Selphie's page in this game. It's a little bit of characterisation for the more marginal party members through their guest posts, and a neat way to show Selphie's thoughts and feelings about things without having her just dump them on you in a cutscene. Like a lot of the little chats and mini-stories in the Garden, it's a nice piece of the world that the average player probably won't see but is there if you're looking.
These two don't have a lead-in line (or at least, I couldn't get it to trigger). It just starts there.
Other people in the hallway are pretty psyched to have not died.
These are the last people to check in with while we're here.
Uh, except for this guy, who still wants to play cards with Cid. Who let this guy in here?
We can check in with Quistis, who reminds Squall that Edea's back at home.
Which is helpful, since Xu never knows where we're going.
We're not going far, so I just decided to take Selphie and Quistis.
Fun fact: if you look closely, the Garden's model has changed to reflect the destroyed quad (toward the bottom of the screen, here).
Edea's house has seen better days.
Everyone has lines here, and they're all pretty confused and on edge because of what's gone down. It's kind of up in the air what Edea will do when we see her.
But, you gotta face the music.
I really like the backgrounds in Edea's house in the present.
If you try to go down to the beach, this motherfucker shows up.
I guess this explains where Cid went when shit started up.
Headmaster Cid: ...Hahaha... Are you angry with me? Haha... I don't blame you. All I do is talk big, but in times of trouble, I run away.
Cid is a coward and kind of a piece of shit in general. It's a real reversal from his introduction, where he's encouraging the SeeDs at graduation and giving the Forest Owls a major discount. He's in a tough place, sure, but he could have told the B-Team over here the whole story before he told them to kill his wife and fled.
He doesn't say anything, but somehow I don't think Squall would be impressed by this.
Before we get to Edea herself, we can look over here for a new Timber Maniacs.
And a Curaga draw point.
It's not very useful.
Once you've talked to Cid, you can follow him to the beach. He's in between Squall and Edea, I suppose as some kind of show of protecting her in case Squall decides to finish the job.
But, as you come out, Edea moves past him to face Squall herself.
And now, it's time to hear Edea's side of the story. Just like after the battle at Galbadia Garden, she's sounding a lot less aggressive and haughty. For the record, she's also lost the "Sorceress" off her name and is just "Edea" now.
Squall is pretty quick to forgive her. Of course, he never really wanted to fight her.
None of the kids wanted to fight her, they just didn't have much choice.
Of course, Edea understands that and doesn't hold it against them. This is another change - yesterday she despised SeeD.
Edea: You were magnificent.
Well, technically, the fact that you're alive actually means that they fucked up.
Edea: However, it is not over yet.
Yeah, I could tell that when I saw four discs in the jewel case.
Edea: At anytime, I may...
At this point, you get control of Squall back, which is kind of weird since you can't do anything.
The only thing you can do other than talk to Edea to advance things is talk to Cid, who kind of jumps the gun here. Note that he is no longer "Headmaster Cid".
But yes, Edea has been possessed every other time we've seen her.
And, for the first time, we hear the name Ultimecia.
The way Ultimecia is written in Japanese is アルティミシア, which could be transliterated more literally as Arutimishia, which would probably be cleaned up to Artemisia. The first few syllables are pretty close to both the Japanese for Artemis (アルテミス) and the Japanese transliteration of the word "ultimate" (アルティメット). With Artemis being the goddess of the hunt (i.e., hunting SeeDs and Ellone) and the moon (i.e., a prominent motif in the game), I feel like the pun was probably intentional, but wouldn't work in English, so they went with Ultimecia to evoke "ultimate" instead.
Ultimecia is likely the "utlimate" sorceress both the sense of "last" and the sense of "most powerful".
Edea: Ultimecia's objective is to find Ellone. She is after Ellone's mysterious power.
We already knew that, of course.
Edea: I knew Ellone very well.
And, of course, Ellone lived with Edea and the kids.
It's interesting to see Ultimecia described as "fearful". There's a good reason for her to be afraid, but we haven't got everything on her yet.
Edea: There was no way I was going to let Ultimecia get a hold of Ellone. The only thing I could do was... ..Surrender my soul to Ultimecia and lose control of my mind.
So, that's why Edea didn't seem to know all that stuff she should have (like was SeeD was for). Also why she tried to kill everybody.
Edea: That was the only way I could save Ellone. And the end result... Well, you all know.
It's not clear what Ultimecia wants to do, but Edea was willing to die to stop it, so it's probably not good.
At this point, you get control of Squall again. You still can't leave, though, so you have to talk to Edea again.
Edea: I believe she may use my body again to carry out her plans.
So, why isn't she doing that right now?
Edea: I plan to make a stand this time, but...if that does not work... I may have to face you in battle once again. I ask for your support, young SeeDs.
And now you get control of Squall once more, but the "right" thing to do is leave. Let's talk with Edea some more.
Edea: Have you all heard of Sorceress Adel before? She was the ruler of Esthar during the Sorceress War.
It's come up a few times.
Edea: No one knows of her whereabouts... That's what I learned. The Galbadians must have thought I was the sorceress who received Sorceress Adel's powers. However, that is not the case. I received the powers of the previous sorceress at the age of 5.
Up to this point, we've also been working under the impression that Edea had gotten her powers from Adel (some guy at Garden mentions it, and with Adel coming up a few times, it's the conclusion that makes sense) but this throws a wrench into the works. It also raises the question: who did get Adel's powers?
Edea: I believe Sorceress Adel is still alive.
Or, there's that.
Edea: And that Ultimecia released my body to... ...To use the body of Sorceress Adel... Sorceress Adel is the type who will not hesitate to use her powers for her own selfish desires. Should Sorceress Ultimecia from the future bequeath her anger and hatred unto Adel, their power would be unimaginable...
So, if Adel's alive, we have to stop Ultimecia from getting her, uh, hands on Adel's body.
Now it's time to try to leave.
Squall's not in the mood to listen right now.
: (I understand that listening to what Matron has to say is important, but Rinoa...)
Might as well ask, I suppose.
Of course, she doesn't mean to offend, but this is another one of those thing's that isn't great a line to someone whose girlfriend is in a coma.
Squall considers his answer for a second.
: She was with us when we fought you. After the battle... ...Her body was cold... She didn't move...
At this point, Cid decides to butt in.
Squall's disinterested front slips here.
Naturally, Edea has no clue what's going on with Rinoa. Whatever happened, she didn't do it.
: ...It's all right.
He gets himself back under control here.
And now Cid decides to lecture him.
Cid: The other students at Garden have a right to know about the outcome of the battle and what's to come. Take whatever information you can get here, back to Garden. Remember, it wasn't just Rinoa. Everyone fought.
A leader also shouldn't tell people "hey go kill my wife" and then peace it, but here we are.
Again, the mask slips. Lucky for Cid, Squall punched that wall instead of his face.
And now, Edea starts talking, but Squall's only half there.
Ultimecia can only get so far back in time, I guess.
There are important things being said but, like I said, Squall's not really listening fully.
Thematically, this scene is a continuation of the scene at Galbadia Garden where everyone talks about Seifer being dead. Everyone was very concerned about Rinoa when she was hanging off a cliff and there was nothing they could do, but now they've all seemed to move on.
Zell calls to Squall to bring him back to the real world.
: You're not even listening!
The player knows she's right.
But Squall's pretty good at his job - this is, fundamentally, our goal.
: Yes, but...
: We're going back to Garden. We have to let everyone know.
Squall's going back to being very professional and detached. He's not saying anything, and he's not listening to anyone.
This is not the right thing to say.
: Then why don't you...!?
He does the movement before the line comes up...
Again, Squall's mask slips. Just like with Seifer, this seems insincere and it bothers Squall, but he doesn't express it eloquently.
And he ends up shutting them out.
Then we cut back to the bridge, where Squall's just given his address.
: Our task is to find Ellone. Then we'll deal with Ultimecia. I believe that Ellone is on the White SeeD ship.
You know, someone should have asked Edea about those guys.
: We're setting out to look for it. I wonder where it could be?
We definitely should have asked her that.
: We'll gather information for a while. Be prepared for battle at any time.
Oh, and you shouldn't announce this.
"Please do not kill the woman who launched missiles at the Garden and then had the G-Army kill a bunch of students."
At least someone here recognises this.
Next time: looking for the White SeeD ship!