Part 46: Episode 23 - Back and Forward ThinkingEpisode 23 - Back and Forward Thinking
Welcome back. This is the last Chapter 5 cleanup installment that will be purely cutscenes, I promise.
The condition on the Moonflow, like the prize from Tobli's office, depends only on how many of Tobli's missions we've completed.
The crowd can either be large or small...
...and we can either just watch the show, or earn the option to get up on stage. Nothing particularly exciting. All of the prerequisites are in previous chapters, so there's no fixing any mistakes you made at this point.
If Tobli asks us to perform, tell him that I wanna be the star!
I don't want to be part of that blabber-beak's show, got it?
Moving swiftly on, we're going to skip a big chunk of the world and head straight for Luca.
There's two interesting things going on at Luca this chapter. The first is the capstone mission which grants us Episode Complete for this area. The second is that Blitzball has opened up as a minigame. The game gets things a little backwards, though, in that the automatic cutscene that plays when we beam down is about the Blitzball, while we have to go hunting for the mission. There aren't actually any prerequisites for the EPCOM mission in Luca, though, so I guess the game has to go out of its way to give us the opportunity to fail.
I'll tell you right now, I'm probably not going to do any Blitzball. The minigame underwent some serious changes between games, none of them positive. The big one is that you no longer have manual control over the ball carrier; everything is AI-controlled, all the time, and all you can do is call out strategies. Gone are the days of running circles around lazy chase opponents with one of the handful of speed-dominant players. The other change is that players now have more stats (because what Blitzball needed was more numbers) which largely govern how quickly their other stats increase and how likely they are to suffer a serious injury that keeps them out of a set number of games. Expanding the team management side of Blitzball adds little to the experience, and I think it was a mistake. Blitzball was Tidus' thing, though, so I'm okay leaving Yuna out of this minigame.
The way to trigger the Episode Complete mission is to head to the balcony where the infamous laughing scene took place. This starts a sequence where Yuna remembers Tidus, and the fun times they had before her pilgrimage really began in earnest.
I like that Yuna remembers him this way; Luca was as close as Tidus ever got to being in his element, and he was his most comfortable and confident here.
The one problem with this sequence is that the memories are presented using an illusory plot device moogle that only Yuna can see. I know the game devs needed some way to tell the player which way to go, but metaphysics or no, this just makes her look insane. Anyway, the only way to get the bad ending for Luca is to start this mission and then abandon it part-way through.
Chasing after Yuna's memories eventually takes her back to the Luca docks.
These are our memories. Yours and mine.
A dream, I think. My heart won't stop pounding!
That's not a dream. Not if your heart's pounding like that. You and someone you care about are connected somehow. That's what it is.
I've felt that way, too.
Maybe we can trade secrets.
I guess everyone's like this. We cling to our secrets, our doubts, our memories... we're never able to put them aside. Even though they confuse us, there are some things we can only find in that confusion.
Wanna know my big secret? Too bad! No hints for you!
Rikku's "big secret?" Oh, I think I already know...
Our last two stops today have Episode Concluded outcomes of omission. Failing to get EPCOM just means you miss out on a couple of lines of dialogue or a scene here or there. As a result, I'll only be showing the good path for them, and noting what would be missing on the bad path. Also, since both of our remaining areas were main storyline areas, the only missable prerequisite for both are CommSphere conversations in Chapter 4.
At Kilika, there's a crowd gathering at the gate, which is still being manned by a misguided Youth League member.
This road is closed. I can't let you through!
What's wrong with wanting to see our families!
But, without orders, I can't let you pass!
Haven't you noticed you're the only one still nitpicking over party politics? New Yevon this, Youth League that. It's called a complex. Get over it. Weren't you listening to the song?
Rikku nudges Yuna playfully. That's the power of music, folks.
Now let them through.
But, without the order...
The guard opens the gate and let the people through.
All through the forest, gates are opened and people run to happy reunions.
Songs are powerful.
I guess everyone felt it.
What you felt?
No, not me. Lenne.
Don't forget, there's one reunion in particular we're out to see here.
Hmph. Well, I... It seems to me you have forgotten who it is you are supposed to be guarding. I ought to fire you for just up and leaving me the way you di-
Don't interrupt! I've been practicing these lines for days, so be quiet and let me finish!
Dona, please forgive me! I'll apologize as much as you want! Don't say I can't be your guardian anymore! I'll never leave your side again.
That's so sweet.
Oh Dona, never change.
Don't think that you're off the hook for embarrassing me like this. You'll be making this up to me for the rest of your life.
Barthello, we're leaving.
That killed the mood.
I think that last "Donaaa!" was the one that finally got through.
I'd like to know where our "leader" got the crazy idea that Kilika would be throwing a party just for us.
Since getting the good path only depends on our CommSphere conversations with Dona and Barthello, the bad path changes only affect their scenes. Dona doesn't show up at the gate, forcing Yuna to give the order to open the woods, and we don't get the reunion scene on the temple steps, either. Instead, Barthello sits outside Dona's house groveling for the rest of the game.
Finally, if we talked to that cameraman in all three possible chapters (this game loves making you do things over and over, doesn't it) we can go over to the Youth League base and loot it. The distortion on the camera makes this an annoying trip.
Oh, he is so cute!
Look at his hands! They're so tiny!
Everybody coos at the baby. You know you would, too.
What do you think? He's cute, ya? Good thing he don't look like me.
Don't be silly. Look, he's got your mouth.
You think so?
What's his name?
I think the Calm will end before Wakka make up his mind.
Well, you better decide soon.
Naming my son is my first important decision as a parent. Becoming a good father requires intense emotional preparation, ya?
How long you planning on preparing?
Until, uh...my preparations are done, ya?
There's nothing else to do here until we head to the beach. Beclem, as he alluded to in his CommSphere transmission, is leaving, and good riddance.
No, not yet.
Never could make up his mind. I have something here. I'd like you to give it to him.
See he gets it.
Keepa, you are the worst goalie. You can't even control the ball in practice.
It's tough love! Beclem's not such a bad guy. No, wait. He's still a douche.
On our way back, we run into Wakka.
He's already gone.
He gave me this sphere.
For me? Hey, let's see.
The sphere shows somebody recording Wakka as he prays at the beach overlook.
Nah, you prob'ly forgot. Somethin' I told you back when we were kids, ya? There's a sphere on the island, I said. Showin' Mom and Dad. I lied. Truth is, there's no such sphere. I'm sorry. Back then, you'd lecture me no matter what I did. "Someone has to keep you in line, ya?" I guess I was kinda bitter. That's why I made up that story about the sphere.
Especially since you're joining the Crusaders.
Enough with the preaching!
Someone has to keep you in line, with our parents not around.
Knock it off with the surrogate parenting and give us both a break.
Video: War Buddy Sphere
His brother, ya.
Anyways... You guys stay in the village till nightfall, at least, ya?
And as night falls...
That night, Wakka gathered everyone in the village around the fire.
I'd like to introduce the newest member of Besaid Village.
We already met him!
So you picked a name yet?
Don't tell me this is a brainstorming session!
Like I'd do something like that!
Everybody take good care of him, ya?
I always try to cram myself into some kinda mold, you know? A blitzer, or a guardian, or a follower of Yevon... And now, a father. I always get so wound up about what I should be.
Anyway, I can't keep coming up with new Wakkas all the time, eh? So it looks like I'll just have to start doing things my way.
Hang in there, Dad.
Sin was nothin' compared to diaper changing, ya?
And we get one last scene before we leave. I like it, and I wish some of this had come across when we first met Wakka and Lulu in Chapter 1, because it feels very natural and genuine.
It's all right. I knew it would be worth the wait. I had faith.
You? Had faith in me?
Wakka, we're in this together.
Guess I'd better not drop the ball, ya?
Let's not bother them.
And Yuna sneaks away at night yet again, but for a much happier reason.
They were totally off in their own world! Isn't that sooo romantic?
Vidina, is it... Wakka's thinking ahead.
Vidina, it should be noted, is Al Bhed for "future." Although we should remember to ask Paine how she learned Al Bhed, since she probably didn't go digging for primers.
The trigger for Besaid's good path is talking to Beclem on the CommSphere. What changes on the bad path: Beclem doesn't give us the War Buddy sphere; Wakka doesn't get inspired; baby remains unnamed; no moment of romance.
Well, that was a bit of a slog, but now we're through the mushy stuff and into the intrigue. Next time; ruh-roh, Raggy.