Part 96: Part Ninety-Six: Squall's Sorceress RescuePart Ninety-Six: Squall's Sorceress Rescue
Here we are, at Esthar's beautiful and scenic Sorceress Memorial.
Unlike the last time we visited, there are random encounters here now. There's even a unique background, even though you're not particularly likely to see it.
The guards are still here, though.
But they just let us in. Poor guarding, sure, but a good decision from a not getting killed by SeeD standpoint.
Inside the Memorial is this little control room, where we can see Rinoa in the middle of a contraption like the one Adel was stuck in.
Not that restricted, obviously.
: ...To do what I should have done earlier. ...I'll never know unless I do it.
Having been asked what he's doing, Squall gives this bizarre and vague response.
Engineer: What are you talking about?
I would probably ask the same question.
: ...I know what I want and what I have to do. ...There's still a chance. I'm not gonna look back.
That's not an answer, dude.
Finally, he gets around to it.
Engineer: What!? You must be joking. It's too late.
This isn't actually related to any sort of timing, but it would be pretty funny if you could get here too late. Roll up like big heroes five minutes after they launch Rinoa into space.
: Squall, now's your chance!
I guess at this point we're just threatening people for doing their jobs.
You might think that this console does something, but it doesn't. You can't even interact with it, which is kind of a letdown.
No, you have to go to the left, where you get yet another shot I really like. I love Esthar's weird fantasy tech.
When Squall starts yelling, Rinoa starts hammering on the glass.
And then he tries to free her by, uh, punching the seal thingy.
It's less than effective.
So let's try plan b.
This one actually works, and the machinery starts spraying mist everywhere.
I guess they didn't want to do a background for Rinoa here.
And that's how Squall finally hugged.
Now in low-def!
: Squall, don't! I'm a sorceress.
: I don't care.
One of the consequences of Squall's character arc is that he's no longer just doing whatever his orders say to do without letting his feelings interfere.
Unfortunately for the scheduling of hugs and talking about feelings, we have to leave.
: Let's go.
They get one last embrace in before we leave, though.
Outside, the situation's looking bad. I mean, there's four Esthar soldiers here. Our outfits might get blood on them.
Before we can fight, some guy walks up and says nothing to the soldiers.
This has the somewhat unexpected effect of making them back off.
...Is not very talkative. In fact, none of these guys have anything to say.
Well, it's probably not important. (Big guy, doesn't talk a lot, Squall thinks he recognises him, you can probably work out who this is supposed to be.)
Once Squall is safely away, the big guy puts his hands on his hips and gives a satisfied nod.
And now, we're back to the Ragnarok!
Rinoa's sort of standing awkwardly to the side, which prompts Quistis to ask this.
She also does a shy pose here, looking at her feet.
She goes straight from shy body language to playful here. She may be embarrassed, but she's not ungrateful.
: But then, when you guys rescued me... It made me so happy, and...
: No need to be embarrassed!
: Yeah, happy is good.
It's true, Squall hasn't had a line since this scene started.
And, in typical Squall fashion, he's reticent.
: He's thinking: what do we do now? Blah blah blah...
This is yet another echo of the first scene with Squall talking to Quistis. There, Squall denied that Quistis understood him at all. By now, we've seen that she does.
: If you think and worry too much, everything tends to turn bad. Squall. Why don't we just picture a brighter future?
He sort of writes it off, but not as aggressively as he used to do - his body language is neutral, and "whatever" isn't a particularly forceful response. Squall's still awkward when Quistis gives him shit, but he's warmed up a lot.
We don't have a clear answer on this.
: I'm not really sure, but... Don't we have to do something about that 'Lunatic Pandora' in Esthar?
We don't have to do anything. Of course it would be Zell that suggests that the party even should do something about it. Zell and Rinoa are the most heroic people on this ship, but Rinoa's priorities have shifted.
: After all, the Galbadians are controlling it. Which means Seifer is behind all this too, right?
This is both a valid point and serves to highlight Zell's shortsightedness. Seifer's just a lackey, nobody's worried about Seifer.
: Yeah, and that Ultimecia! We can't let that sorceress from the future mess up our world! Let's go kick her ass!
This is also typical of Zell: he wants to do good, but there's no kind of practical line to "beat up the evil witch who lives at the end of time".
...And then, being Zell, he runs his mouth a little too long. While Quistis has settled into her non-teacher role and Selphie found she could be a part of both Trabia and Balamb Gardens, Zell still hasn't grown up. He's still a guy who wants to do the right thing and doesn't know when to shut up. I don't think Zell is suited to being a SeeD at all, really.
Oh, and Squall's pissed that Zell would suggest murdering his girlfriend.
: So Squall...where we goin'?
People sometimes complain about characters other than Squall and Rinoa not getting a lot of screen time or lines in this game, and I think they overstate it a lot, but I also think it does apply to Irvine. We can see some growth (or, in Zell's case, pointed stagnation) in other characters, but Irvine's pretty static. Honestly, I don't think there was much of a plan for Irvine after Deling City, so he's just sort of also there in a lot of situations.
Anyway, Rinoa has something to say.
: Can we go to the orphanage you guys were talking about in Trabia?
: That place is in shambles.
: There's nothing to see there.
: I'm a sorceress. If Ultimecia possesses me again...
Even though Squall rescued her from the Sorceress Memorial, Rinoa is just as scared of being ostracised and threatened as she was coming back from space.
And so we have a destination - not to save the world from Galbadia and Ultimecia, but to take some time and figure things out. It's a break they could all desperately use.
: I'm happy, sad, angry, worried... I'm starting to feel schizophrenic. Will I ever be at peace...?
Popping back in, we can get a line from each of the party members. Rinoa's under a lot of stress.
Selphie and Quistis are working on a theme.
: I don't care if Rinoa's a sorceress! She's still our friend!
Zell's just apologising for not thinking before he opens his mouth. At least nobody died this time.
Irvine doesn't actually have a new line, but I noticed/remembered that he calls Selphie by her childhood nickname, because he is so charmless.
With the Ragnarok, it's not a long trip from Esthar to Centra.
When you enter Edea's House, you can see Angelo. After a second, she runs off towards the flower field, pointing the way you're supposed to go.
But that'll keep, so let's have a chat with the woman herself.
Cid: Edea was unaware when it happened, but she feels very bad about it... I mean... But of course, it is Rinoa who will bear the burden, but still...
Cid, for his part, is still a weenie. I don't think he understood for a second what he was getting into when Edea had the idea to set up SeeD.
This is the first time that Edea and Rinoa have really met.
: I...don't think it could've been helped.
This is an awkward situation for a couple reasons: first, Edea couldn't really control to whom her powers passed; second, Rinoa was a part of the assassination attempt that caused the powers to pass in the first place. She's also being polite.
: I don't blame you for what happened. So instead... Please advise me. I'll be looking up to you as a wiser, experienced sorceress.
: ...Thank you...Rinoa.
As an element of the ongoing story of Rinoa being folded into Squall's life, this sets Edea up as a kind of mother figure for her. More of a mother figure than Edea is to Squall, actually, since "passed her sorceress powers on to the younger girl" is a closer connection than "let this orphaned child live in her house."
: Therefore, please give Rinoa your understanding until her time comes.
Talking to Edea again, we can also get this line, which implies that the powers are causing Rinoa some discomfort just by existing.
: No matter how cheerful she may appear to be on the outside, I am sure that she is full of anxiety.
If you come around without Rinoa in the party, you can get this alternate line. Cid's dialogue doesn't change.
Now that we've chatted with Edea, let's go see what the dog was looking at.