Part 20: Episode 10 - I Apologize For About Half The Things
Episode 10 - I Apologize For
Welcome back. There's no putting it off any longer; no matter what we did at the beginning of the chapter, we pissed off about 50% of the world. If we're going to have any hope at maintaining a sustainable customer base as a sphere hunter, we're going to need to do some politics.
Let's start with Kilika. Dona is waiting there when we beam down.
The Gullwings, was it not? Sphere hunters that give back spheres. Don't you think that's a little odd?
On reading my old updates, I realized how often I say something like, "We go back to the airship and hear what Rikku and Paine have to say." So now that has its own thumbnail.
Kilika Port is full of Youth League supporters, so I guess we're not welcome there anymore.
They looked about ready to toss us into the sea.
We're having a little spat with New Yevon. Just what I needed. No rest for the weary, dear. You may want to keep your distance from the island for a little while.
Maybe it's me, but I think we were just kicked out.
They're too busy fighting amongst themselves to have time for outsiders like us.
That's how it is. No matter what we did, we can't get into Kilika this chapter. Next stop: Mushroom Rock Road.
As soon as we turn into the road to headquarters, League scouts jump down our throats.
It's those sphere thieves, the Gullwings! Watch yourselves!
Some of the more hotheaded among us have convinced themselves that the Gullwings are the enemy!
You've got hasty friends.
Exactly! They are too hasty in their judgment. But I still have faith in you, Lady Yuna. I'll run to headquarters right away and ask them to call off the red alert!
So the militant rhetoric seems to have done its job, and the League thinks we're taking a firm side against them. Obviously the best way to explain and apologize is to beat them all up.
It's a running fight to the elevator. Every so often, two League troops will run into us and start a fight. They're more annoying than dangerous.
There's also some Ochus hanging around that will turn and lunge at you unless you tilt the stick gently and walk by.
If you leave during the fight, Yuna's team has this to say:
What's their problem anyway? It's not like we meant to pick sides!
They're the ones begging for a fight. Let's show them beggars can be losers.
When we reach the end of the road, Milquetoast McBelthead steps up to fight us as a matter of pride. She's good-natured about it, though.
It's not much of a boss fight, but I use it as an opportunity to play with our new toys from last update. I got a Gold Hourglass from the Highroad mission that I totally didn't do and doesn't exist, and I put it to good use.
Video: Boss: Elma
Despite winning the fight, we're not getting into the headquarters that easy.
I bet Yaibal did this. He didn't want us to get involved in the fight.
Maybe Yaibal isn't the pathetic loser I thought he was after all.
In the Youth League's eyes, anyone who's not a friend is an enemy by default.
With the elevator up, there's nothing more we can do.
Umm... for what?
Surely this is the day that you will honor us by joining the Youth League? What an occasion! I have long dreamed that this day would come.
Well actually, that's not why we're here...
Don't worry, the Youth League will give the Gullwings a grand welcome. Please proceed to headquarters immediately! If you'll excuse me, I have duties to attend to.
I think Alternate Timeline Rikku has some crow to eat. The trip is similar to the Yevon side, except it's not a Mission, there's League escorts that protect us from random encounters, and they warn us not to run close to the Ochus.
So…is it true that once the Gullwings join the Youth League, you'll be in charge of your own division?
Let me guess, Yaibal?
This story just keeps getting better and better.
We just helped out the one time, really.
I knew it. I thought it sounded a bit strange. I mean, you seem like the kind of person that decides things on their own and then just does whatever they planned to do. I can't picture you joining an organization or an army or anything like that.
Just as I thought.
Yeah, but think how great it'd be if it were true.
Still making the pitch?
No. Absolutely not. I know that words alone are not enough to sway Lady Yuna's heart. The heart is not moved from without; but rather, when the time is right, it moves of its own accord from within. Finding the place where one belongs is, by nature, a personal journey.
Isn't Commander Lucil amazing? Such wisdom!
I learned it all from my troops. Excuse us, we have a strategy session to attend. Farewell.
I kinda like Lucil here. She's classy, and she's probably done some soul-searching of her own post-Operation Mi'ihen. Still, we get the brush-off, and we can't get in to the command tent to talk to Nooj again either.
Maroda tells us that we've been good for recruiting, though. A little too good.
Wouldn't it be so cool if the Youth League had a Yunie Squad?
That Lucil is really something. I can see why her troops look up to her.
Whichever path we're on, we can also head back to that ravine and check on the sealed door.
It's probably in the ravine. Do you see a way down?
Okay, we'll take a look.
Really, this Chapter is full of moments meant to drop hints to players who didn't do their exploring in Chapter 1. Sometimes it's nice, but sometimes it comes off as patronizing. Inside the cave:
Our league members are out for blood. This is no place for pawns of Yevon.
Pawns? The Gullwings work for no one!
That is just the problem. The Calm comes and suddenly Spira is full of kids playing pirates.
This is always funny. Rikku, you are not the melee class.
It's yours. Happy hunting.
Is something the matter?
Oh. It's you. As you can see, this place has been sealed. The portal is supposed to react to a certain kind of sphere... But just this one isn't enough.
You'll find the other spheres?
On my honor as a sphere hunter! Of course, we won't do it for free…
Very well, I leave it in your hands. Here, hold on to this sphere.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! You know him?
Why should you care?
Rikku, please. Paine and Gippal are totes OTP. As interesting as it is to realize that Paine knows Nooj as well, I think it's even more interesting to see how Nooj puts us to work for him either way we went. It's more evidence on the pile that Nooj is up to more than he's saying, and that it has little to do with the League itself. Even while his organization calls for our blood, he sees both them and the Gullwings as means to an end.
I even respect you. All right? I would think that'd be enough.
Well, yeah, but…don't you ever want to know more about your friends?
Well I do. I do wanna know more about you.
What for? Who cares what happened in the past?
There was something! Come on, Paine! You can tell us! What happened?
Now Yuna's gotten in on it. Let this be a lesson, Paine. It's not the crime; it's the coverup.
I thought you were above all that.
Well, not anymore. I like asking questions.
You'll lose friends.
You think so? Never mind, then.
Aww! And I was looking forward to hearing the good stuff! Confessions of a shady past!
Uh-oh, how many points left?
That's not a whole lot, is it?
Subtle point. Paine can deal with Rikku asking about her past, because she knows how to handle her. Yuna's a different story, because of how tenacious she is, and how idealistic. Paine knows she has to lead with the nuclear option, because if she lets Yuna start asking questions, it can only end in a broken friendship. I think this exchange makes the scene really work, even though Rikku's a little ridiculous, and it gives Paine's character a subtle, delicate balance; she's tight-lipped about herself because she values her friends in the Gullwings, not despite it. Rejection is a very human thing to fear, even and especially when it's irrational.
Video: Nooj in the Den
Maybe we need spheres like that one to open it?
It might open if we find them all.
I kinda still wanna know what happened.
Either way, the door reacts to our two spheres.
I get the feeling that Nooj has more answers than the sphere he gave us.
How would you feel if I started prying into your past?
Let's check out that sphere.
Something exciting is happening involving running, but it's really hard to see. How exactly the quality of spheres degrades over time seems pretty arbitrary. Somebody needs to invent the sphere equivalent of a RAID array.
Video: Crimson Record 7
Bevelle is significantly less interesting than Mushroom Rock was, sadly.
We don't get the same kind of hero's welcome that the League would have given us. Everyone's enthusiastic, but dignified about it. We can only get in to the main door, where we're turned away with some vague warning. You know what? Never mind RAID, someone needs to create the Spiran FOIA.
New Yevon seems convinced that the Youth League is going to attack.
Bevelle's on red alert. I don't think we need to worry about Leblanc starting trouble there.
Man, the awesome sphere is kinda One Ring-like, isn't it? Whichever side gets it turns paranoid that the other is coming after it.
Bevelle on the League side is a little different. We fight four fixed battles to get to the main gate, where the guy we've just knocked ten of out tells Yuna to stop before they get really angry, and Yuna just... leaves. I guess it'd feel weird storming the Vatican, but there's really no reason we couldn't.
And even the guards outside think it's absurd we had to fight in the first place.
We can go back to Bevelle, but we'll just end up getting chased off again.
No matter what we say, New Yevon will probably take it as a threat.
Once again, we've run out of stuff to do. Next time: a clip show, then the hot springs episode!