The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy VIII

by Cool Ghost

Part 72: Part Seventy-Two: Work is a Four-Letter Word

Part Seventy-Two: Work is a Four-Letter Word

At this point, we have a goal: find Ellone and keep her away from Ultimecia. We don't have any sort of plan to do that, but sometimes you just gotta roll with it.

One thing we do know is that Ellone went off with the White SeeDs, who are "Sorceress Edea's SeeDs". Maybe she knows something.

Edea: Should Ultimecia possess me again... ...I ask for your help, young SeeDs.

Unfortunately, she's not talking about it.

Cid: Even if Ultimecia decides to choose her again, it will be very difficult to find her.

Cid is a little more on-topic, but what we learn here is mainly to introduce your pronouns properly (the first "her" is Edea, the second is Ellone). So that's a bust.

What we can do is play cards.

And here, for once, I actually want to mix the rules.

You see, in Centra, they play with Random. I don't like Random, because it makes grinding annoying.

But, by bringing in a set of rules that doesn't match, I can do this. I don't even have to play cards to do it.

Of course, now there's no Open rule.

Thankfully, we drive around a little piece of Balamb, and Balamb has Open and nothing else unless you fuck up.

I didn't actually play against Xu, but I accidentally found out Nida plays.

He's not even looking at Squall...

In the end, I defeated Nida and took the prestigious Geezard card.

Now, back to Edea.

I mixed the rules again, managing to spread Open. I could have reloaded and tried again to wipe out Same/Plus, but I don't mind that rule.

My first game against Edea did not go as planned.

But I got it on the second try.

And I won her card! This one's not much for refinement; it makes three Royal Crowns, which teach GFs Mag+60%.

It does mean, though, that I now have over half of the character cards!

Anyway, now that that's done, it's off to...


Nobody told me where to go.

Well, nobody told me where to go explicitly. As Quistis implies here, the actual next destination is the infirmary. This is handled poorly and mainly consists of giving the player the runaround - I only know where to go because I've played the game before. The game could easily jump you back to the infirmary or just tell you to check on Rinoa, but it doesn't.

How annoying.

This line from Zell also makes more sense as a pointer to the infirmary.

However, as is my wont, I'm not chasing the story directly. See, since she wants to get fired, Selphie has updated her diary again after saying she was done.

A Day of Pondering posted:

I thought the battles were over. But it seems like they'll continue. I wrote before how Sorceress Edea, or Matron, was very special to me. She was a good sorceress after all. She was possessed by a different sorceress, but she's still in danger. Even if she is being used, it'll be tough fighting with Matron...

It was the future sorceress, Ultimecia who was controlling Matron. Her objective is 'time compression'. I wonder what that is? What happens when time is compressed?

...Also, what happened to Rinoa? I know Squall is suffering. Isn't there anything we can do?

So, despite Squall's belief that nobody is serious about Rinoa, we can see here that they are but things keep happening, there are always bigger fish, and they can't just stop everything to look after her. Within the group, communication is as bad as ever, so the message doesn't get through.

Also, on the topic of time compression, this is now in the Information section.

And this, discussing White SeeDs. How useful.

Finally, there was a Timber Maniacs in Edea's house, which gets a corresponding writeup on Selphie's page.

: A pub somewhere, plus the owner. No name or location is written down. But actually, I know where it is. I won't say though, out of respect for Sir Laguna. But if it's that important, he shouldn't have published it in a magazine. But I guess it's something special.

The pub this article is about is, of course, Raine's pub in Winhill. However Laguna ended up globetrotting, he clearly missed the place and wanted to go back. Too bad...

I've gained several levels recently, so I decided to write some SeeD tests since we're always so hard up for Gil.

I have no idea how you would know the answer to this question. (It's "no".)

You could know this one, if you paid close attention to Chimera.

I wish this were the case.

Aside from the bizarre or deep mechanical questions, there are some small tutorials on the SeeD exam. Good luck to the player if they didn't already know this!

A Gayla is not 12 metres tall.

Imagine finding this out like this...

Like I've mentioned before, SeeD tests are fucking weird.

After doing several tests, I got my SeeD rank up to 30.

After 30, there's one more level to gain. (Pictured: errata and a tutorial.)

A is the highest SeeD rank, paying 30,000 Gil each cheque.

There is, however, a problem: as soon as you get paid at rank A, it drops back down to 30. This is because taking the test jumps you to the next level of SeeD experience roundly - it's 100 points per level, so each test sets you to the next multiple of 100. The maximum SeeD experience is 3,110, 10 points above the threshold for rank A. To get to the maximum, you'd have to hit rank A (generally through tests) and then defeat 10 enemies. Getting paid deducts 10 points each time, so by being at the maximum, you can get paid without dropping the rank - of course, this isn't reliable unless you carefully police your steps, so in practice, you hit rank A and then get demoted immediately.

Note: Vil corrected me on this in the thread:

Vil posted:

The max SeeD experience is actually 3000. It's more of an order of operations thing in the formula beyond that. The game keeps track of the kill counts of each character as of the previous payment. When you get paid, it takes the difference between those and their current kill counts (and then updates the tracker to the new current). Sum up this difference across all characters, subtract 10 for getting paid, and add the result (whether positive or negative) to current SeeD experience. After that, cap it to the [0,3000] range and update the rank as needed.

Rank is floor(SeeD exp / 100) + 1, e.g. 0-99 is rank 1, 100-199 is rank 2, ..., 2800-2899 is rank 29, 2900-2999 is rank 30, and 3000 is rank A (31).

It's the same result in the end, but my numbers were wrong. You still can't hold on to Rank A.

After getting paid and demoted, I went to save the game, where I noticed that Selphie's haircut is not the bob I originally thought it was, but is instead this weird three-tailed thing.

Looking for something to do other than advancing the plot, I stopped in at Shumi Village.

Squall has a lot of Ultima, and that Str Bonus is paying dividends too.

Anyway, the thing that I thought would happen here ended up not happening.

So I took my Ultima and I left.

With no other options, I decided to visit Rinoa.

: (Rinoa... You feel so cold.)

Does body temperature drop noticeably during coma?

Squall is not taking this particularly well.

: You were so full of life.

Right before they went into Galbadia Garden, Squall was really coming around on Rinoa, and now she's just lying around. It's a hard time for him, and it's not one he can just ignore or run away from.

This is all a continuation on the theme of Squall having to really face his feelings for the first time in a long time.

And this is an ironic little callback to the scene in the secret area with Squall and Quistis.

Squall just wants the person he cares about to be alright. Of course, if she weren't in a coma, he would probably never admit that - he didn't realise what he had until it was gone.

Then, having made his plea to Rinoa, Squall collapses.