Part 79: Part Seventy-Nine: Horizon BridgePart Seventy-Nine: Horizon Bridge
Now that we've gathered all the clues and seen all the things I can think of to see, it's time to make for Esthar. To do this, we actually need to head to FH, but I'm on the wrong side of the bridge.
In the process of circling around, I ended up here on the Galbadia end of the Horizon Bridge.
Unfortunately, the barricade on the bridge is the world's strongest structure and any attempt to fly past it just shunts the Garden into the sea.
You also can't run past it.
So, off to FH we go.
Upon arriving, we cut immediately to Squall in the infirmary. If it doesn't occur to you to go to FH, or if you want to skip some travel, you can also trigger this scene by just going to the infirmary directly. Nothing changes if you do.
Seeing no other option, he decides to bodily carry Rinoa to Esthar to meet Ellone.
: (I can't go on like this.)
We've seen it a couple times, but Squall really is taking the whole Rinoa situation pretty hard. What happens here is just another development in the continuing theme of Squall and fear of abandonment. This situation is, fundamentally, the testing ground for that fear, and ties into two earlier scenes. The first is at Galbadia Garden, when everyone thinks Seifer is dead and Squall gets upset because they talk about him using the past tense and saying nice things even though they dislike Seifer - it seems insincere and doesn't actually do anything to help him. The second is at Trabia Garden, where Rinoa talks about her fear of being left behind or losing someone and being powerless to do anything about it. It's essentially the same fear Squall has, and it's also basically what happens (to Rinoa).
Squall is now on the other side of the situation he fears, being left to abandon a comrade in a time of need. In that way, it's also similar to the conversation with Squall and Quistis after the SeeD exam. There, he writes off her concerns and tells her to not rely on others. Inadvertently, he abandons someone who cares about him in their time of need. Now, even though his plan involves carrying this girl for who knows how long and isn't guaranteed to work, he refuses to abandon her. It's a big character growth moment for him.
At this point, you have to start walking.
The screen fades out as you approach FH proper, eventually hitting full black.
And we come back in somewhere along the bridge, with the sun setting in the background. Being as the sun was not setting when we left, it's clear that he's been walking a while.
To drive that home, he starts in on this.
: (Didn't think it would be this far...)
At this point, he also starts having doubts about the whole thing.
: (Go to Esthar... Find Ellone... Talk to Ellone... But there's no guarantee that everything will be resolved if I talk to Ellone.
By all indications, Ellone can't do anything about this. This isn't a good and well-considered plan, it's something done on the spur of the moment.
: (Even so, I'm...)
And this is the conclusion he comes to after his introspection. He does not at any point stop walking or turn around while thinking all this. This little monologue is a complete 180 from Deling City, where Irvine asks if Squall thinks they're doing the right thing and he just ignores it.
He's been walking for a long time, and the end of the bridge still isn't in sight.
I like this shot. I think the sunset background is really pretty, and I also like Squall staring out at the clouds contemplatively.
On another note, you can see something in the sky to the right of the lamp there. It looks like a star, but it's too light out for stars yet. Wonder what it is.
As he rests, Squall's thoughts turn back to the Garden.
Very small thing, but he looks down as he thinks this. He's taking it seriously.
He also looks at Rinoa to direct this question at her.
And then there's a pause - it's the same thing used in the conversation with Quistis after the SeeD exam to drive home the point that Squall's not answering. This question isn't entirely rhetorical, there's a little bit of hope that she'll wake up.
Now, finally, Squall admits this. It's pretty obvious if you pay attention to the rest of the game, but this is another character moment, because he's finally admitting it.
: That's why I didn't want anyone to get to know me. I wanted to hide that side of myself. I hate it.
Squall is aware that he is still only a child.
: It made it easy for me when people perceived me that way.
He's based a lot of his life on his one painful memory of childhood, that Ellone left. If people think he's an asshole, nobody will want to get close enough to eventually abandon him. Foolproof.
Again, he takes a moment to look down and contemplate this. This is also another one of those "no answer" pauses. The other thing this scene recalls is the concert at FH, where Rinoa pesters Squall to open up, but he mostly resists. It's the two of them again, but this time she's completely silent.
This is a joke, to break the tension.
And with that, the break is over.
Time to get back on the road.
When the scene cuts back in, he finally arrives at the Seaside Station. Note that the sun is now rising - he's walked all through the night.
There's no reprimand or criticism in this statement - as Squall didn't abandon Rinoa, he was not abandoned by Quistis.
Zell is also here.
He's clearly just a little annoyed that his dramatic gesture is defeated so easily.
: You're going to Esthar, right? We're coming, too.
This little reveal, like many things in games and movies, relies on the boundaries of the shot - Squall would have seen Edea both ways.
When she says "our" way, she means it. Edea has now joined the party. She joins at the highest level by a pretty wide margin (26), and her stats are fairly middle-of-the-road, though her Mag is the second highest in the game.
Having control means having a chance to chit-chat, but there's not a lot to learn from this incidental dialogue.
Edea's who you have to talk to to move on.
: What business do you have in Esthar?
The question I'm sure was on everyone's mind.
: I must go see Doctor Odine.
: Dr. Odine. You've heard the name before, right?
We have heard the name before, but for whatever reason there's a choice here. This affects nothing, and the third option serves absolutely no purpose other than to know that you've been kind of shitty to Zell.
: ...Why do you need to see him?
: I remember, but...why do you need to see him?
Well, I guess it does save you the time of reading three words, so...it's a speedrun option? Fuck if I know.
Anyway, it's been a while since we heard about Odine, so let's get a quick refresh.
: Tell me more.
: You know the famous Odine brand, don't you? That's all Dr. Odine's work. When it comes to knowledge about the sorceress, he's number one...
Basically, as Zell said, Odine knows about sorceresses. The last time his name showed up was on the bangle Rinoa was going to give Ultimecia/Edea to block her powers. In the Information, we also learned that Odine is the guy who invented Para-Magic.
All the options basically end up on this line.
: If that were to happen... I would once again bring terror. I, too, value my well-being. I want to protect myself.
I guess Edea's not so hot on the SeeD mission statement since they tried to murder her.
: If it were possible, I would like to rid my self of the sorceress' power. Doctor Odine may know a way. He may be able to save me.
: ...I understand. Let's all go to Esthar.
For some reason, there's no animation of picking up Rinoa here, it cuts out and back in.
A couple seconds later, two people come running down the tracks.
: Yo, they're back.
: The two of them went to take a look.
You may have been wondering where these two were.
If she's not, she's being very rude.
Selphie likes to have fun.
: Selphie, don't make Squall angry...
It's basically the entire eastern hemisphere, yeah.
: I don't know why, but I can't seem to find it anywhere.
: Couldn't find it up north or down south... Let's try going east next!
With that hint, we get a chance to form a party before we head out for Esthar proper.