Part 81: Part Eighty-One: Into the Sky HolePart Eighty-One: Into the Sky Hole
This is the first thing you see when you climb the ladder at the end of Great Salt Lake. I really like the transition here, because it's so jarring. You don't really know what's going on the first time, you have no idea where you are (this place is just called "Mystery Building" in the menu), you're on this tiny little walkway, and the only way to go is forward.
So, forward it is.
There are these weird hexagonal panels everywhere.
You can examine this console to get a little comment on them.
: (Forget it. There's no time for this. I have to take care of Rinoa...)
If you don't mess with the console, you can also get this line as a reminder of Squall's grim determination. It's a neat piece of flavour text.
Let's try pressing buttons, though.
When you do, the panels light up a bit and you get a second menu.
Colour check just gives you a little colour wheel thing around some sigil. I don't think it's shown up before, but it's a little bit of foreshadowing.
Next up is...
It's not hard to put the pieces together at this point, but I'll leave that off for a bit.
There's also one last option on the menu.
Hitting Random just makes it cycle through the sky and colour wheel settings. Nothing new here.
And that's it!
For looking at all that stuff, though, you get a little exchange.
: No wonder why we couldn't see anything. These panels were coverin' everything up.
: But all this for what purpose?
: I don't know, either. I'm sure we'll find out soon.
The answer's pretty obvious to any player with half a brain, but Squall's not one for speculation.
Let's just move on.
Thankfully, the door's not locked and we can get on this platform in the dark.
Once everyone's on, it starts moving.
Just don't get too close to the edge.
Edea's a little more concerned than Selphie. Something I like about Selphie is that she's always having a grand time, probably because she knows she can handle most of the dangerous shit that might come up.
As the elevator rises, the angle changes and Squall sets Rinoa down.
: Where are we goin'?
: I haven't the slightest clue...
I hope it's not a blast furnace or Hell or some other bad place.
: (I don't know if we'll ever get to Esthar. But I don't care...)
Squall's still afraid, but he's doing the best he can.
Everyone exchanges nods here, a tacit agreement that they'll follow this through all the way. A lot of this sequence, starting with the rest of the team showing up at Seaside Station, is about how far they've come and how close they've gotten. When they all meet Squall, it's a show of them not abandoning him or looking down on him for doing something stupid - they've gotten a lot better as a team since that forest outside of Timber where Squall yelled at Zell, or the desert where everyone had to pressure Squall to be the leader.
You have control here, but nobody wants to speak, so you can only run around and waste a bit of time.
: Ride's over.
Again, there's no way to go but forward.
Edea's worried that we're heading into some kind of danger.
: (...I don't care at this point. Nothing's gonna surprise me.)
Like he said.
On the other side of the door is another elevator, but this time the background is of noticeably lower quality. That's not intentional, it's a side-effect of the upscaling on the emulator.
See, as soon as the platform starts moving, the little panels start changing.
This is another great reveal, as an enormous city appears out of thin air past the salt flats.
These two are a great double act.
Now transparent, the panels in front of us open up.
And the platform starts moving.
Right before it fucking plummets towards the ground.
You can barely see it at this point, but that thing is hauling.
While you make silly use of the fact you can run around, you're treated to views of this utterly alien city.
...And then you're reminded that you're on rails as you rush into this darkened area.
Finally, our time on these elevators has come to an end.
: It's possible we might encounter some hostility, so stay alert.
This line from Squall is the beginning of a little theme we'll see during this bit of the game: Squall is more than willing to kill anybody or anything that gets in his way.
Before we can go far, though, there's a piercing noise and Squall and Selphie collapse. Edea's not as bothered (she makes a concerned movement, but doesn't drop).
: No...not now!...... This......isn't good......
He knows what's going on, and he fights back.
I sure hope nobody kills us while we're these guys.