The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy VIII

by Cool Ghost

Part 90: Part Ninety: Don't Fuck with the Moon

Part Ninety: Don't Fuck with the Moon

After all this, we've finally caught up to Ellone. Walked across the ocean and got shot into space, all on the hope that she could somehow help wake Rinoa up.

: Me too.

At least each is happy to see the other again. It's kind of funny that the other party member gets no greeting.

For her part, Ellone has no idea why Squall is here, so she gets right to apologising.

: It's alright. I understand. I understand what you were trying to do.

Squall's reaction is a big shift from when he saw Ellone at the Garden. He's learned a lot, and grown as a person.

Ellone: Thanks to you guys, I was able to see how much I was loved.

Ellone: Thank you so much.

This is definitely one of the more emotionally honest exchanges Squall is involved in, and for that it's a nice payoff to chasing Ellone. The main reason Squall is so stunted is because he became fully passive after she left the orphanage, but he's managed to find her again and get some of that connection back. It's all very thematic.

And here's a major sign of character growth - Squall has never asked anyone for help with anything personal like this before. He assigns people to support a couple times, like during the Garden fight, but he hasn't ever asked for help.

: You said you can't change the past, right?
Ellone: You can find out things about the past that you never knew. And from what you've learned, you may see some things differently in the present.

This isn't the answer he wanted, but it's the one the player knew he would get. This was never a good plan.

But, this isn't a game about a magical girl who goes back in time to fix her family. It's a game about accepting the past and making connections with others.

So, he's gotta see for himself.

I mentioned back after the D-District Prison, but Squall spends a lot of the early game not making any decisions for himself. That all changes during disc three, starting with Squall ignoring Edea's explanation of Ultimecia. It's thematically important that Squall's not around for the sequence with Lunatic Pandora, and he doesn't start travelling with Edea - that's all sorceress shit, and Squall has checked out.

Ellone: I told you I can only send people I know in the present into people I knew in the past.

Again, this was never a good plan.

: I brought Rinoa with me. She's resting in the med lab. Please come with me.

Goddamn if he's not gonna try.

Ellone feels very guilty for using Squall's brain without permission or knowledge.

Guilt can wait. Right now, it's time for important business.

Playing cards on the Lunar Base blows. They use every single rule here, which makes it the toughest area in the game. As far as I know, you can't abolish any of the rules here, either, since that requires knowing a rule that isn't in use. On top of that, the AI takes longer to make a move the more rules are in play, so it just takes longer to play here than in other places.

What a hassle.

Now, let's get moving. For this bit, Ellone follows you like she's in your party, but she's not actually a combat character.

Oh, also everyone just reminds you you have something to do if you talk to them.

Rinoa's not going anywhere.

See? There she is, still in the med pod. The game specifically cuts away to highlight this.

Wait, why is the pod opening?

Son of a bitch.

: Med lab... Rinoa?

Somethin' bad's goin' on, gang!

: I'll check it out! It doesn't look good. Ellone, you'd better go wait in the control room.
Ellone: Okay. Be careful, alright?
: Quistis, please take care of Ellone.
: Alright.

Good ol' Quistis Trepe is on the job.

Now, let's go talk to people. Whatever that shit is, it'll keep.

I mean, what are the chances of that?

Now, back to business. As soon as you walk into this hallway, you see the guy on the right shoot out of the med lab and slam into the wall.

Rinoa is also here, and she's, uh.

Hey Rinoa, what's up?

Ah, shit!

Basically, as soon as you get close to Rinoa, Squall just gets sent flying. You can repeat this as many times as you want, if you think it's funny to watch Squall smash into walls.

I'm gonna say space disease. You got any space antibiotics in here, my dude?

There's no reason to actually talk to that guy, the goal is to follow Rinoa around.

And to learn this very important detail from Quistis.

Rinoa has decided to go play Minesweeper on the Lunar Base PC, and Ellone is pissed.

...Or that.

Haha awesome.

Again, as soon as you get close to Rinoa, she throws Squall across the room.

Then she shuffles out, and Quistis starts yellin' about the moon.

Well, let's take a look at the moon.

It is extremely covered in gross shit.

Also, the monsters are all movin' in for MonsterCon '99.

: It's overflowing with monsters.
Piet: It's finally starting...
: The Lunar Cry...

Awesome. Good. Everything that's happening right now is good.

For the record, at this point it doesn't really matter what we do.

Piet: If she plans to free Adel, she'll have to go out there. The Level 2 Seal is located on Adel's Tomb.

Well, back to chasin' Rinoa.

This isn't player-initiated, the guy just starts shouting.

And then some astronaut floats by. Extremely bad time to be that dude.

For some reason, looking at the moon starts with a pan from the planet.

Also, the moon has now become a space eyeball. It's a bit silly, sure, but I think the space eye is very striking.

As befits the space eye motif, the theme for the Lunar Cry is called "Tears of the Moon":

Let's take a closer look.

As the camera pushes in, the eye becomes increasingly red.

Like most eyes, this one is just full of monsters.

As they move towards the centre, the monsters start pushing away from the surface.

Soon enough, the moon's gravity can't hold them anymore and a giant nasty stream of monsters shoots towards the planet.

This, by the way, is why you should never, ever fuck with the moon.


Crew Member: I...I believe they're headed for Tears' Point in Esthar...

Damn, this guy is extremely good at figuring out monster pillar trajectories.

Researcher: Then, that means Lunatic Pandora is at Tears' Point. When did this happen!?

The Lunar Cry does happen naturally from time to time, but this line makes me think this one wasn't supposed to happen. If you think about it, a lot of people around the Lunar Base are probably moon experts, so they should have known if a Lunar Cry was about to happen.

But, even though a lot of bad shit is happening in Esthar, we have more pressing concerns.

Thanks, man.

Researcher: Monsters from the moon will fall by an unknown force...... Never in my wildest dreams...

Speaking to the researcher gets you a little reminder about the relationship between the Pandora and the Lunar Cry.

And speaking to the crew member just gets you a reminder that everything is going very poorly.

Entering the locker room, you can already see someone in a space suit heading into the airlock.

There's no timer, so I've got plenty of time to talk to this other astronaut.

Before Squall puts his plan of yelling into motion.

It does not work.

Time for plan B.

As you chase Rinoa, the door opens to let these guys in.

Passing by them, you get a little snippet of their panicked yelling.

Unfortunately, as the Panicky Gentleman is making his observation, the airlock door slams shut, trapping Squall inside and Rinoa outside.

As Squall inspects the door, the guy is still yelling.

Ultimecia setting all of this up is the obvious conclusion, but I do want to point something out: I don't think Ultimecia actually planned for Rinoa to play any role in this. There's no indication that any of what Rinoa's doing right now (i.e., unsealing Adel) actually requires her specifically. She just happened to be handy.

Anyway, we can't use this door, so, uh.

Well, let's go see what's up in the hallway. Good a plan as any.

Hey guys, what's up?

Very dramatic.

The President, though, is hesitant to leave. No idea what he's planning to do, but he's certainly a man of action.

Unfortunately for the presidential dream of doing some action hero shit, the aides just bodily drag him away.

He manages to scramble back just long enough to deliver this final directive to Squall.

Speaking of Ellone, let's check in.

Quistis has nothing new to say.

Wow, this really was a bad plan.

Like, damn.

As soon as Piet makes his announcement, we cut to a shot of Rinoa in space.

It's not lookin' good on the "stop Adel from being released" front.

Yeah, I think we're takin' the L on that one.

As soon as Rinoa finishes with the panel, Adel's tomb is swallowed up by the Lunar Cry.

And you know what? I don't think Ultimecia really did a lot of thinking on how to get her back on the base.

Squall's priorities haven't changed at any point in the last ten minutes.

: We can't leave Rinoa! We have to do something...!

Quistis says this, but leaves the room immediately after doing so.

Now, let's check in with Ellone real quick.

Ellone: You're the only thing on her mind right now. She's calling you.
: Ellone, take me to Rinoa. Please.

This really isn't the time for this...

Ellone: I don't know if I can send you.

Thankfully, Ellone hasn't taken leave of all her senses, and so she runs off to the escape pod.

At this point, you get player control, but you're not walled off from coming to give this guy a farewell.

One last thing to do before we follow Ellone.

Checking the moon monitor gets you a secret FMV.

The drone drifts closer and closer to the monster stream...

...and then cuts to static.

Well, that's about it for the Lunar Base.

Hey Ellone, is there room on that Elevator for one more?

Oh, and can I keep this spacesuit?

Meanwhile, on the planet...

The Lunar Cry "lands" and starts spreading out.

As it does, the Crystal Pillar that makes up the core of Lunatic Pandora lights up.

And Adel's tomb, shining bright, falls from space.

Penetrating the Pandora's outer shell, it's caught by these cables and comes to a stop.

On the bright side, though, we did get to talk to Ellone, and Rinoa did wake up from her coma, so that's a full mission success!