Part 39: Episode 18 - Movie Spheres Killed the Music Sphere StarEpisode 18 - Movie Spheres Killed the Music Sphere Star
Welcome back. So here's the thing; if you're just going by what we accomplish, Chapter 4 is easily the shortest of the five. But if you use the game timer as your metric, it might be one of the longest, and there's 16% of completion to be had. How?
The game manages to do this with the CommSpheres, which contain 7.6% of that 16%. A surprising amount of effort went into this portion of the game, some of which would probably have been better spent elsewhere. Every location we can contact has a pile of filler content to watch, and often we have to watch it in order to reach the stuff we actually get credit for. Some of the cutscenes also require us to zoom in on very specific areas before the scenes are triggered.
We have two opportunities to use the CommSphere system; once just before the Moonflow mission, and once just after. The scenes we can see change a lot between those two instances, so you really do have to do this twice.
Well, you don't. I do. If you've ever been thankful that I'm editing this LP, be thankful now.
Starting in Besaid, there's not much to see in the pre-Tobli segment. Wakka is freaking out about Lulu's pregnancy, but she's still not ready for labor yet. Post-Tobli, on the other hand, we can get an interesting conversation with Beclem and an insightful one with Lulu.
It is a shame, though…having to leave Besaid in the hands of slackers.
Besaid will be fine, Wakka's there to keep an eye on things.
Hmph. Small consolation. If you ask me, his brother was ten times the man Wakka is.
You knew Chappu?
We fought in the Crusaders together. He always talked about Wakka. Said, "My brother's the greatest person in Spira!" Imagine my surprise to find out the legendary Wakka's nothing more than a wishy-washy wimp. There are so many things I'd wanted to talk to Wakka about... But not anymore.
Things? What kind of things?
Memories. Well, that's enough chit-chat. I need to get ready to leave.
Maybe he's not such a bad guy after all. ...No, he's still a dick.
What'd I do?
What's this about a concert? Doing something fun like that even though you know I can't leave Besaid. Not very thoughtful.
Sorry. I got tired of just standing around...
You haven't changed at all, have you? Even though you so wanted to.
You could tell?
How many years have I known you?
Here comes the insight.
You don't need to rush. You know, the most important changes happen naturally and usually turn out better than if you try to force them.
So that's how it works.
In my experience, at least.
You got twice as much reason to be careful, ya?
Take Wakka. He probably doesn't even notice it's happening.
Huh? Yuna, what's this about?
Just girl talk.
That right? 'Cause I'm thinking it's a boy, the way it's always kicking at Lu's stomach.
On second thought, maybe he hasn't changed after all.
You're all familiar with the traditional flamboyant gay stereotype, right? (Stay with me here.) When a gay man comes out of the closet post-adolescence, particularly in his early-to-mid twenties, it's not uncommon that he will adopt that stereotype to an almost caricaturial extent, only to recalibrate a year or two down the line to somewhere between that extreme and his original personality. The interesting thing from a sociological standpoint is that this phenomena is very much like something we see in the clique-based search for identity common to the end of middle school / beginning of high school. Kids of that age will regularly be drawn to broad, stereotypical identities (jock, goth, stoner, nerd, slut) exploring them without reservation for a period of time before integrating parts of those identities into their own personality and moving on. This process of trying on different hats would seem to be a universal human experience, and every time we do it, whatever it is or however old we are, we regress to the maturity level of a fourteen-year-old for a little while.
This is pretty much the thrust of Wakka's arc in X-2. He spends the beginning of the game obsessing over what he thinks a father should act like, while slowly growing into who he will be as a father. As I alluded to in the previous Interlude, Yuna's going through much the same process. Her time as a sphere hunter was a conscious, directed effort to act like an Individual, but now she's developed to the point where she can be herself with an appropriate amount of individualism. I mentioned at the beginning of Chapter 3 that she felt a conflict between the two instincts of freedom and heroism, and it's only now that she's starting to realize there's not as much of a conflict as she had thought; that she can choose to be a hero and serve both.
We dropped two CommSpheres at Kilika, so we can use them both to get status updates from both Dona and Barthello.
But without Baralai, everyone is uneasy. Forget about us, though - what about Kilika Port? Is the Youth League protecting the town?
The Youth League's a mess now, too, without their leader.
This news gets Barthello so excited that he accidentally breaks the CommSphere. However, we can still contact Dona, and she likes to carry us around while she talks.
They're accusing New Yevon of assembling an attack force inside the temple complex. They must have forgotten that they control the only road to the temple.
I hope the balloons reach the temple.
We then can watch Dona rehearse some conversations with Barthello, but they're mostly there for laughs. Instead, let's fast-forward to post-Tobli.
All my best for the concert!
Dona attaches the sphere to balloons to try to send it to the temple. I'll save you the time and tell you that Barthello breaks that one too.
Connecting to Djose isn't actually important for completion percentage, but we can get some interesting and useful information from the Al Bhed there.
Of course we are worried that Gippal is missing... But we do not need orders to get things done. We think on our own. That is the Al Bhed way.
By the way, I heard that a frightful fiend has been ravaging the Bikanel Desert. I'd bet my right arm it has something to do with Vegnagun.
We learned a few things studying the hole that you fell into. The hole was not dug out from above. It was tunneled out from underneath. As if something deep beneath the earth dragged the fayth into the abyss.
So Vegnagun tunneled into the Farplane, and then dug up into the temples. That's fucking scary. And the fiend in Bikanel is probably Angra Mainyu again; I guess it started attacking instead of just ejecting.
We can also see Lian and Ayde here, if we sent them to Djose. Actually, we see a scene like this wherever we sent them; they've always turned up empty-handed.
And then an Al Bhed steals the CommSphere for parts.
We'll connect to Guadosalam next. We can talk to Ormi pre-Tobli, but he just tells us that Leblanc is missing. The more interesting conversation comes post-Tobli.
Yeah! You can come if you like.
Sounds nice. Everybody singin' with everybody else. Just like two years ago. Back then we was workin' for those Yevon creeps. Me and Logos was forced to do all their dirty work. Eh, those were bad times. But then, when you went to fight Sin, and we all sang the Hymn of the Fayth... We could tell a new age was about to begin. It was magical. Bring summa that magic back to Spira again. I know you can do it.
I won't let you down!
The game doesn't exactly come out and say it, but general consensus is that Ormi and Logos are the two unnamed voices we hear in the Crimson Report spheres checking for survivors. It seems like Leblanc rescued them from some really unpleasant shit, which would explain some of their feelings for her.
There's a couple of different scenes available at Macalania, depending on your success at Gagazet. If you stopped Garik, you'll see some Guado talking; otherwise, Ronso pour continuously into the forest, and the sky in the background is tinted red.
There's also a sphere outside O'aka's shop. If O'aka didn't pay his debt, though, there's an Al Bhed woman manning it.
Lately too many strange things have happened. Rin is currently investigating similar incidents near the Mi'ihen Agency.
We'll check that out in a bit. Also, most of the conversations with Al Bhed you have in this chapter grant you an Al Bhed Primer if you're not already fluent.
If you talk to O'aka post-Tobli, though, he has some funny things to say.
I swear on the O'aka name, I'd have been sellin' tickets hand over fist for ye.
We're not charging for the tickets. We just want as many people to come as possible.
So you're saying, people can see this concert even without a ticket? I'd figured it was already sold out, so I gave up on going...
No, you should come see it, too!
I believe I'll do just that! Got any room for a concession stand?
Next, let's touch base with Bikanel and see about this fiend.
Another perfect day for digging. Everyone's hard at work. But one thing... Lately there's been a pretty nasty fiend wandering in the desert. Think you could help us out? Anytime you can spare a hand would be fine.
Unfortunately, between pre-Tobli and post-Tobli, things get worse.
If there's anything you can do, we'd be grateful...
That can't be good.
And Bikanel goes offline.
Gagazet goes a little bit different depending on your success with Garik as well. Kimahri won't go to the concert either way, but if you stopped the genocide, the Ronso youth will. The most interesting scene is this one, on the successful Gagazet path, post-Tobli.
Kimahri always protect Yuna. Kimahri is Yuna's shield. Kimahri not fear anyone. Oath make Kimahri strong. Yuna no longer need shield. But Ronso do.
At Bevelle, assuming the CommSphere still works, we can see what became of the Kinderguardians.
Hey, lemme go, will you!
You let a child get past you?
And Pacce lays them the fuck out and walks off. No wonder he was a guardian.
Isaaru is still chilling at Zanarkand, so we can take the time to bring him up to speed as well.
Using the power of song to unite Spira. Is that it? I know you can do it. Or rather, you're the only one of us who could do that. Good luck, Yuna.
Using machina to talk like this still doesn't feel right to me. Working with Cid, I did get used to the idea, but I have my doubts. Maroda often laughs at me and says I'm behind the times.
We talked with Maroda using one of these. He's in Bevelle.
Bevelle? Really? How is Bevelle these days?
It's not looking too good. They can't find anyone to lead in place of Baralai.
Well, I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to push some of their problems on you, High Summoner.
Well... what would they expect me to do?
I had no idea things had gotten so bad... Thank you for telling me.
This conversation is actually a trigger for getting Isaaru off his butt and helping us out. We won't see the benefits until next chapter.
Finally, we should investigate what that Al Bhed woman was saying about the Mi'ihen Highroad.
Our hover was destroyed. Also, the drone machina malfunctioned. I've launched an investigation, but clues have been hard to come by.
I am relieved to hear it. With your help, the mystery will be solved in no time. I have placed a number of modified CommSpheres along the Highroad for use in our investigation. Should you find anything suspicious, please report it to me.
So we have a little mini-mission to complete here. We can switch freely between eight cameras on the Highroad, and when we see something worth investigating, we press a button that summons Rin to investigate.
For those of you who might have been disappointed that our choice of League or Yevon didn't impact who the villain was, congratulations; the culprit in the machina caper is actually dependent on what evidence we collect, and in what order!
There are some points of commonality; the site of a hover crash, and an injured witness who gives testimony. However, what he says is never specified, and his testimony always bolsters your case.
Some of the optional scenes you can uncover are a young Chocobo Eater running around...
...suspicious behavior on the part of Prophet and his assistant...
...and, if we didn't invite Calli aboard the airship, a chocobo feather at the scene of the hover crash.
The whole time, Rin will give you audio cues suggesting that your case against a specific suspect has leveled up. After three of these, Rin will have decided on a culprit, and the mission is complete.
However, we can also observe some suspicious behavior on the part of Rin himself, and if we annoy him too much, he'll stop responding to our calls.
We won't get to see the outcome of the investigation until the next chapter, but I'll cover all the possibilities, so prepare to pop some popcorn and pretend you're watching Clue with all the multiple endings.
Well, that's six hours of my life I'll never get back. Next time; soothing the savage breast.