Part 94: Part Ninety-Four: Landings and Take OffsPart Ninety-Four: Landings and Take Offs
Once Squall finishes confessing to Rinoa, we cut to the Ragnarok's landing site.
Just like the radio operator said, there's a ground crew to meet us.
It's mentioned in the Garden tutorial that calling a sorceress "Hyne's descendant" is a show of respect, but at the same time, there are soldiers here. It's respectful but it's not friendly, if you catch my drift.
Straight to business, eh?
He doesn't waste a lot of time on explanations, but talking about sealing power implies that they're going to do to Rinoa what they did to Adel. Maybe not shoot her into space, but they're still gonna put a teenager in cryostasis without any sort of trial or anything.
Rinoa's not happy about it, but she understands the reasoning. You could consider this Rinoa being in danger, but I'd disagree - there's not really a threat to be averted here, it's more like she's agreeing to be killed.
Estharian Sorceress Catcher: Thank you for understanding. Tell us when you're ready.
This is a small scene in the game, but I think it's very important to understanding something. See, back when we were in Deling City, the Galbadian Peace Ambassador talks about some stuff like this:
There, she talks about how sorceresses were "condemned for generations" and "cold-blooded tyrants." And I think this is a great practical demonstration of that - like I said, Rinoa released Adel, sure, but there''s no trial or deliberation or anything, just the summary execution. This scene isn't presented as anything particularly special, and the game's not about to stop to talk this out, but I think it's an important one if you want to understand Ultimecia's motivation.
Before she goes, Rinoa has one last thing to tell Squall.
I like that she takes the time to mention this. The player can intuit this, and Squall already figured it out, but she doesn't know that. It would be easy to skip this in the script.
: Ultimecia, a sorceress from the future. She's trying to achieve time compression. She's the only one who would be able to exist in such a world. She, and no other.
This is basically what Edea told us.
: As long as I'm free, she'll continue to use me to accomplish her goal.
Rinoa is as afraid of this as Edea is. If you take it with what said about sorceresses being persecuted, it becomes kind of ironic as Ultimecia creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
She doesn't like it, and she's clearly terrified, but Rinoa makes the decision to get killed.
Estharian Sorceress Catcher: All right. We'll be heading to the Sorceress Memorial.
She hangs back for a second and gives a little wave.
Neither of them is happy about it.
: You keep it.
: You sure?
Well, there she goes, I guess.
I like the defeated tone of this scene, I think it goes well with the stuff in space, thematically. Sometimes you try your best and you still lose. The same thing happened with Edea, when they realised she was their "Matron" but still went to kill her.
Well, let's see what's up on the world map.
Those airstation guys apparently decided to land us in the middle of some desert a hundred miles from nowhere.
This is a really big ship.
The elevator's not working right now, so I guess I'll take a nap in the sitting area.
He's clearly frustrated, and now he's really alone to top it off.
While he's standing around, the doors open.
For a broad enough definition, I guess.
: How did you get here?
This is a good question. The escape pod came down on the other side of the water.
: Well... A lot of things happened. I was unconscious for a while after the escape pod touched down. When I came to, it was just me and Piet.
So you're saying that you lost Ellone again, aren't you?
: (Piet? Oh, the guy who escaped with us. What happened to Ellone?)
: Ellone wasn't with us anymore.
Son of a bitch.
: Not only that, there were signs of a struggle. I hope she's safe.
Why did they bring Quistis here instead of taking Squall somewhere else?
: The rescue crew told us about this ship, and that you were all safe.
Again, for a broad enough definition.
: I see.
: Squall...... When you jumped out into space, you didn't think about anything else, did you?
: That's right.
It's pretty obvious, but whichever character you took with you into space is the one who shows up here. Since I took Quistis, this gives her a chance to chat with Squall. This scene is part of why I decided to take her, in fact.
: Oh well...
Quistis has not stopped being desperately lonely.
: (Rinoa is......)
"...At the store."
Just as Squall is about to tell Quistis what happened with Rinoa, the door opens a second time.
And, again, you have to wonder why they brought these guys here instead of taking Squall back to the mainland.
: S'up Squall!!! So glad you're safe!
Oh man, this is gonna be great.
: Well, here it goes!
: Matron's not a sorceress anymore. Matron gave away her power to someone without realizing it.
: (To Rinoa......)
And now we know where Rinoa's sorceress powers came from. This also explains the weird stuff that came out of Edea at Galbadia Garden, and what knocked Rinoa out back then.
: And, ah... Oh yeah, the Galbadian military is controlling Lunatic Pandora. They excavated it from the ocean where Esthar sank it years ago.
: Then monsters came falling down from the moon. Total panic down here. It wasn't just monsters that came falling down.
I'm not sure how Zell would know this. Odine must have told him, I guess.
: I guess the stream of falling monsters engulfed the machine. Lunatic Pandora caught Adel from the stream! Dr. Odine thinks that may have been Galbadia's true intent.
Hey, I just realised Edea totally called that Adel was alive and Ultimecia would try to get hold of her. I'm sure she's pleased as punch that she was right.
It's a good thing Squall's so stoic, because imagine coming back from almost dying in space to hear this laundry list of fuckups.
: But Squall!
: I know. I know we've got problems. But I can't think right now.
: What's wrong?
: An escort from Esthar came to pick Rinoa up. Rinoa's in Esthar now.
"And I still haven't figured out why they brought all of you here instead of taking me there."
Selphie chimes in with the obvious response.
: Was she taken by force?
: No. It was Rinoa's decision. She was scared about being a sorceress...
During this conversation, Selphie wanders off.
: She said she couldn't handle that.
Shortly after, Irvine follows her, leaving Zell alone to listen to the adults speaking.
: It was Rinoa's decision. What right do I have to object?
Quistis comes back into the scene really strongly. It's the same sort of tone she uses with Rinoa in Deling City, and I think it's as good in this scene as it was in that one.
Her follow-up is better this time, though.
Quistis actually ends up in a really good place as Squall's close friend and trusted advisor at the end of her character arc, I think. She doesn't get to be his lover or his big sister, but it's certainly a much closer relationship than "overly flirty teacher who he wants to leave him alone."
Zell's still the annoying kid who agrees with adults while they yell at you.
Her lecture managed to get through to him, at least.
: (I may never get to hear Rinoa's voice ever again... What can I do?)
And so, he makes up his mind to go after Rinoa.
Quistis knows what's up.
: Heading to Esthar, right?
: I don't even know where to look for Sis.
I really don't like the use of "Sis" to refer to Ellone. I assume it read better in Japanese and just didn't translate well.
A lot of things in the world are very confusing for Squall.
Did I miss the second "for" in this line when I read it the first time? Yes.
: We're going to get Rinoa back!
How are we going to get out of the desert, though? Does anyone know how to fly a spaceship?
Quistis will not tell me if she knows how to fly a spaceship.
As you go to leave the room, something happens and everyone is shaken up a little.
Huh. Well, that solves the desert problem.
What, you hope Irvine is driving?
: ...Selphie screaming, "Whoo-hoo, we're flying!"
: (And standing next to her, a very excited Irvine...)
Well, let's go see who's in the seat.
I'll admit, the joke of the rest of the crew calling it perfectly gets a laugh out of me.
Yeah, I know.
A good question to ask.
: It just kinda took off! I don't know. It's pretty easy. I think I'll be fine. But there's no guarantee it won't crash!
And we're off!