Part 95: Part Ninety-Five: Back in TownPart Ninety-Five: Back in Town
Following all the space commotion, Esthar guided the Ragnarok down in some desert. Pretty safe place to land it, honestly, nothing much around. On the other hand, they brought a bunch of other people to the ship instead of giving Squall a ride back to Esthar, so we stole it.
And that's how SeeD became the world's only operating air force.
Before we set out, let's pop back into the ship.
Everyone has new lines, just like they would hanging around Garden. Nothing very substantial, but it's still a nice touch.
Also, if you look closely, you can see the pilot changing. Depending on who's in your party, either Selphie, Zell, or Quisits will pilot (the priority goes in that order).
Irvine does not have a new line here. He exists only as a prop for others, as he has since we left Deling City.
I didn't grab it earlier, but there's a hidden Full-Life draw point in the save room. It never refills, so I can't just hang around here to get Full-Life on everyone's HP, but it helps a little. Anyway, let's head out!
Now there are so many new sights to see, like this wasteland!
Or this desert!
There actually is a destination over here, just across the water from where the Ragnarok landed.
It's not marked on the map, but it's around here somewhere.
Ah, there we go. As evinced by the crashed escape pod, this is the escape pod crash site. It's such an important location that it doesn't even get a unique name in the menu.
Now, in the last update, Quistis explicitly mentioned that an Estharian rescue crew had picked her up.
But, uh, I guess that they just left their own people here to rot. Fuck 'em.
As far as actual sights go, now that we have the Ragnarok, we can get a decent look at Lunatic Pandora. As we saw when Adel's tomb landed, the Crystal Pillar is all lit up and visible through the casing.
We can also see some changes around Tears' Point, with the sealing pillars turned orange, the Pandora overhead, and a sliver of now-red sky peeking through. Nothing to do here, I just like to look at Tears' Point.
Over at Lunar Gate, we can talk to this girl. I figure she was the one hanging out in the control room, but it doesn't matter at all. It's a little funny that Esthar picked up some no-name staffer and left Piet to die.
We can also pop over to the Lunatic Pandora lab for some incidental lines.
I guess this guy's getting old.
At least he can enjoy some dog/moomba playtime before he goes.
Still not important, but we can pop in to see this guy pretending he's flying a spaceship.
Here's a neat feature on the Ragnarok: it has auto-pilot.
Just point it at something on the map, hit the button, and off you go.
The Sorceress Memorial is the next story destination, but for today I'm going to just make a quick detour over to Esthar City.
For the first time in probably 17 years, the airstation gets some traffic. On this screen, we get a full shot of the Ragnarok (looks sweet as hell) and the red sky caused by the Lunar Cry. A version of this background with a blue sky exists, but you can never see it.
Things in the city are looking bad.
The guy over here is so traumatised he either can't talk to me, or just won't.
And, as you might expect would follow a whole bunch of monsters falling from the sky, there are now monsters in the city. The encounter tables in the desert have also been updated, but honestly, you're probably flying around so you're less likely to see them there.
It's too bad the soldier stuck in the tube can't go another few metres, since the healing light is still working.
The mood in Esthar is not optimistic. We're not going to learn any important lore here right now, we're mainly just visiting.
The lifts are out, and there are a couple soldiers running around in them, but you can't actually go into the tubes yourself.
The guards everywhere are having trouble.
There are no monsters on either of Esthar's interior screens.
Odine's an expert on stuff, right? I wonder if he has anything to say about this.
He does not.
For some weird reason, though, he wanders over to the doorway and says this.
His assistant will also remind us that Odine's an asshole.
Joggin' with my buddy the E-Soldier.
I don't think it's been that long since the Lunar Cry, so this person probably hasn't been waiting for days for the lift.
In the shopping district, there's a very annoying NPC to speak to. It's annoying because this is triggered by proximity, and the NPC is either in the zone or just on the edge of it. I had this come up three times, I think.
Anyway, if you can successfully dodge consumerism, you can find the little girl who was shopping with her mother earlier.
It's a cute little scene.
Not cute: the guy on the next screen who's just dying.
Also not cute: this Behemoth showing up to harass me. Behemoths are one of the tougher monsters in the game, starting with 35,000 HP at level 1 and with high Str, Mag, and Spr. They've got some good spells in their repertoire, too, including Meteor and Flare. Like everything else in the game, they're not much trouble if your junctions are solid, but if you're unprepared, Behemoths will fuck you up.
Speaking of tough monsters, there's a guy in black on this screen.
If you talk to him, he does this weird laugh and then starts an encounter with Elnoyle. Like Behemoth, Elnoyle has high HP and attack stats, as well as being able to cast Meteor. This is an important encounter because high-level Elnoyles drop Energy Crystals, which refine into 10 Pulse Ammo. You need 12 Pulse Ammo to get Squall's Lion Heart weapon, and this is the easiest place to get them outside of playing cards (in my opinion), so you'll probably want to swing by a couple times. As usual, just make sure your junctions are in order.
Elnoyles also have Pain to draw, which is a handy spell. Not the big draw here, but still nice.
While I'm here, I also took the time to finally summon DoomHouse to show off.
His attack begins with this nice mountain view. Very peaceful.
Soon enough, the GF comes stomping up.
DoomHouse is some kind of castle/knight/robot thing, and he's fucking huge.
He's also got holy missile launchers.
Unfortunately, GF damage tends to be underwhelming. Squall's hitting for close to 5,000 on a regular physical, for reference.
I'm just including this shot because I like the background. That red sky is very dramatic.
Also very dramatic: this guy, standing in the middle of the city and lamenting.
Things are very bad and people are confused. The population of Esthar is also way down.
While we're in town, let's visit the president. He should at least be in his office now.
On our way in, let's collect some of that classic despair.
I mean, he's not going to stop Squall from getting past.
Inside the palace, there's not anything that different.
I find it kind of funny that every person in Deling City has new dialogue at, like, three different points in the game but most lines in Esthar are variations on this theme. I guess they're just not feeling talkative.
Oh, also we still can't actually get in to see the president.
So fuck that, let's go do this.