Part 41: Lil' Adventures VIII
Time to finish this up. We've got a final boss to fight for the second time in the hopes that maybe the twins won't screw up (again).
Lil' Update 8 Highlights - Come with me if you want to live
*The generic Black Mage does a little mime routine to explain what happened*
A Mirage... came to the training grounds threatening to destroy us all?! Does that mean... it's time? Hey, remember that conversation we had? About what we're going in this world-- what our purpose is?
I think... maybe the reason we came to this world was so they could find us. And once our job is done, it could be our lives are supposed to end.
*The Black Mages start frantically flailing about*
*And so they all march off to take down whatever the hell has been going after them*
[???]: GOLEMS WITHOUT PURPOSE MUST... BE DESTROYED.
What the hell is that thing supposed to be?
[???]: TOOLS DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE. TOOLS THAT ARE NO LONGER USEFUL MUST BE DESTROYED.
So much for trying to talk this one out. Come on! We fight!
Oh, they're just a Mini Golem variant.
Yeah! And more than that, he's our friend!
Golem Head is not a tough fight. There's three of them, so if you have a couple of Wind items (such as Spellstones or Chimera Wings) you can knock them all out in a few turns. Or you might just have Aero spells, although wind is not especially useful so that's not very likely.
Or really any spell. Ultima hit for 5,500 and then Reynn finished them off with Waterga for 2,800 each.
But that's not true. We chose to fight! And we managed to beat him! We are nobody's tools! Am I not right?
*The Black Mages nod in agreement*
Edgar said something to me once. And now it makes sense to me. Don't you see? We don't need a purpose to live, life is the purpose!
Right. Come on! Let's go! We all have a job to do. It's up to you and me to keep Figaro's people safe!
This is basically Vivi's character arc in IX condensed into a very short scene. As I mentioned during his introduction, Vivi discovered a village of other Black Mages that had gained sentience, but he had a bit of a crisis when he found out that they only live for about a year. Despite that, Vivi decided to make the most of whatever time he had.
Super interesting. We're starting to scrape the bottom of the Mirage barrel at this point. The Mirage Manual is 79% complete, although a good chunk of that are Mirages we've already seen and I just haven't transfigged. There are blank spots left, but many of them are variants.
Lil' Update 8 Highlights - Pokin' the beehive
Next up is investigating Balamb Garden, because apparently the League of S haven't looked into that since moving in.
Is there something wrong, Quistis?
Oh, I just wish I was less busy. I hardly have any time to keep exploring the Garden...
Really? Because I see you standing around in this same spot a lot. You don't seem super busy.
Well, there's not much you can do. Still, remember when we moved SeeD here? Feels like ages ago.
It was crawling with Mirages. But, it was worth it for the technology and magic alone. The stuff here is way beyond what we had at the time. A brand-new airship engine... This gunblade... The draw tech...
That stuff was just laying around in here? Also, Squall only started using the Gunblade recently? That's a broken wrist waiting to happen.
Yeah, but, we should have been more careful. The machines went berserk after we gave them to Shinra. In retrospect, isn't it possible they were connected to the Cogna? We should have done our homework better before handing over our findings.
Yeah, that was surprisingly stupid of you guys. You just found all of this advanced technology and machinery and then tossed whatever didn't interest you off to Shinra? No idea what any of it did, so you just threw it out?
Hm? So you're saying that the Garden is tied to the Cogna somehow? Isn't that kind of a stretch?
Now that, that was a good call. God only knows what those two would have triggered or messed up if left to wander this place freely.
Just so you know, they still think it's because you don't trust them.
And for good reason. Nothing they've done so far has shown them to be particularly trustworthy, especially when it comes to potentially devastating power.
What do you want me to do? If the Garden really is some kind of Cogna haven--
Eiko? Hm? Wait, what do you mean, "our friend"? Do you know something about the Garden?
Well, it's really more of a feeling... You know Big Bridge? I think the Garden here is very much like him.
Right. Maybe Balamb Garden... is just one big Mirage. Although... When I reach out to touch its mind, it doesn't respond to me in the slightest.
Maybe it wants to be left alone? It was floating way above the clouds, out of reach of everyone.
It must be sleeping-- way, way more soundly than I have ever seen with Big Bridge. Shall I try... waking it up?
What? No! Why would you try doing that?
Uh... Is that a good idea?
I don't think that it means us any harm. But, if things do get out of hand...
How about we leave it the hell alone? Stop poking at things that you don't understand. What is wrong with everyone in this world? We are currently in the middle of a massive Cogna invasion that's destroying the world specifically because a bunch of morons couldn't help but screw with powers beyond their control.
Got it. We'll deal with whatever comes up.
Ugh... I guess so.
Why thank you.
Ugh... fine. Go ahead and do it. I'm just going to write this world off now and start prepping for an evac. We'll try again with some other A-world. Hopefully one that has a better self-preservation instincts.
Eden... Eden of Balamb.
Eden is a summon from FFVIII and basically only from VIII. There is a reference to it in XIII where Eden is one of the fal'Cie, but VIII is the only game in which it is a summon. You have to draw it from Ultima Weapon or from Tiamat in the last dungeon.
Eden's design suggests that it has some kind of relation to the Gardens (probably as a biblical "Garden of Eden" reference).
It's also one of a group of summons whose animation takes forever to watch. Eden's summoning animation takes about 1:40. For comparison, Knights of the Round from VII (which everyone jokes about being super long) clocks in at roughly 1:20.
Yeah, big surprise.
No. Eden's saying that waking it up opened some kind of pathway to... another world. Usually, it chooses to stay in a deep sleep in order to keep the path closed. That's the only way this world still stay safe.
Ladies and gentlemen, the heroes. The saying "Let sleeping dogs lie" means absolutely nothing to them.
Either way, we need to send 'em back!
I'm not the-sure myself, but if the Cogna have already taken over a world that's in close the-contact with Grymoire... I... I'd rather not the-think about it.
These are just a basic assortment of enemies that we've already encountered. Water and Thunder are your go-to attacks.
I think we're okay. The Garden should be safe from danger, as long as our friend doesn't wake up.
Got it. We'll take care not to disturb it.
Gotcha, we promise not to poke it a second time. Unless we forget. Or we just really really want to because we're curious if the Cogna can still get through. But other than that, never again.
Lil' Update 8 Highlights - Getting a bit too real for PK
Second to sort of last quest. We're going to listen to the League of S discuss what they plan to do once everything is over with. I'm pretty sure you can guess everyone's plans before we even get started.
Can't wait till this is over and I can get back to blitzball training!
Hmph. I've got my own business to attend to. As long as he's still out there...
Yeah, yeah. Tidus wants to play water rugby polo and Cloud is bound by the chains of Advent Children.
As for me, I know that once Bahamut is dealt with and the Cogna are gone, I've always dreamed of becoming an instructor.
No surprises there.
Squall? You okay there, buddy? Don't think I've ever seen you like this. You look kinda troubled.
So you... you've all given some thought to what happens next. You've got aspirations, and you all know where you're going. But not... me.
I mean, once all the bad guys are gone for good, what's the first thing you wanna do? Like, there can't be nothing!
Well normally he would just be in a relationship with Rinoa and that would be his life, but she's not in this game, so hell if I know what his plans are.
You wanna know what I'm planning to do with my life? ...I never thought about it. I guess I have no future...
I hear ya man. Thankfully I've moved out of the mopey emo phase of that realization and into weary acceptance shrouded in self-depreciating humor.
Hey, there's nothing wrong with being undemanding!
(All I really know is... fighting. Is that what my life is? Once the Federation has been destroyed, will I no longer have a purpose?)
Squall! We've picked up a powerful Mirage. Shelke is already en route. Can you go?
Sure, I'll take care of it. Besides, it's not like I've got anything else important on the horizon...
Hold on a minute. Let's team up-- it'll improve our chances. If we attack both its--
Just stay back. I said I've got it!
Piss off, Shelke. Squall knows what he's doing.
...Or not. Why are these powerful characters suddenly getting punked by loser Mirages? We fought these things like 10 chapters ago and even back then they were pushovers.
Would you let me finish this time? If we work togeth--
Just stop. Fighting-- it's the only thing I've got. I'm not like the rest of you. You've got bright futures. I won't let you get hurt... Leave that to losers like me.
Oh no, are we really about to get taught a life lesson by Shelke?
Then put your fears to rest. I'm like you. I have nothing to live for beyond this. I am ready to die in battle, whenever that moment should come.
What? But, still...
How would we know that? You're not a fighter. Don't pretend like you're some combat expert, Shelke. You're the recon team, not the strike force.
I have no dreams. As such, I've no incentive to survive this war. In fact, I have a very compelling incentive to not survive. So why don't we do this? Let's go out guns blazing. End it all here and now. Discharging all our magic at once would destroy that Mirage.
Do it. Doooo it.
(If I'm that sad, that desperate... Fine.)
Not you, Squall. I'm fine with you. I just want DoC wiped from existence.
But I don't think that. Not enough to give up on living. No way.
No guns blazing. I do have a dream. Sorry. No dying today.
Where did this come from exactly?
You know what I dream?
Hey! That's Firion's thing from Dissidia! Don't swipe that! It's bad enough that his inclusion is reduced to some newspaper clippings and a glorified costume.
Think about it. Flowers make people relax. Way I see it, they help make the world more peaceful. When this is over, I was hoping you would come and plant with me. So... don't go dying on me now. If you don't have your own dream, you can find one later. All right? Life is just too precious.
Glad you're catching on. Now quit your moping, stop dragging yourself in the dirt, and work with me.
Wha...?! Shelke! Did you... play me?
Well, after your talk with Tidus, I noticed you seemed somewhat down.
Heh. You got me. Won't do it again. So, you ready? Future's waiting.
We could scatter the seeds from Balamb Garden!
Now that Squall is no longer suffering the -100% Life Lesson Debuff, this guy can be wrecked. He's nothing we haven't encountered before.
Sort of. This one casts Doom non-fucking stop. Doom is an instant kill if that 30 second countdown gets to 0. It won't count down when you are in a menu (assuming you are using the Wait battle style), but it will countdown the rest of the time, which includes during animations.
In fact, the only thing he does during this fight is cast Doom and Bravery (boosts attack). Lann spends most of the fight using Esuna and Dispel while Reynn chips away. The only hit I take here is from a single Great Sandstorm attack that it decides to use.
Make sure you have something to cure Doom (or that your stacks resist it). Otherwise this will be a short fight for you.
Filling the world with flowers once this is all over.
Cut it out. It was the only thing I could come up with.
What do you say we head back? Everyone's waiting.
The flowers thing is an obscure reference to VIII. While imprisoned in D-District after failing to assassinate Ultimecia-Edea, Seifer interrogates Squall through torture to try and find out the true purpose of SeeD (AKA Sorceress killing). There's an option for Squall to lie about it, which involves him telling Seifer that SeeD's true purpose is scatter seeds around the world to fill it with flowers.
You can also choose for Squall to say "Just let me die", which I guess is sort of being referenced here as well.
Lil' Update 8 Highlights - Serafie's a Diva
Last one. Apparently Serafie wants in on the special transfig thing just like Tama.
Huh? Oh, no no. Since we're both pixies, I thought hey, I may as well ask her about transfiguration.
Hm? Transfig? Why now?
Uh, it's more like... Really, it's just a pang. Just a smidge of micro-envy.
Just a smidge, huh?
It sounds tough. You have to go toe-to-toe with high-level Mirages... I'm not sure I'm cut out for it-- noncombatant and all that.
Huh? You want to help her out?
Hmm... Hee hee! How's this: maybe we three can help you out a "smidge."
Really? Dude, that's sweet! ...Uh, I did not mean to channel Lann just now. Hm? Wait a sec. "We three"?
Never mind. Now, Siren, call in a high-level Mirage.
Slow down! I'm not sure I'm ready for this.
Too late. Battle time.
Hey. Who are you talking to now?!
Hey! When did you get on board?!
Yeah, seems like she's figured it out. I guess that's what general competence does for a person.
She definitely knows what's the-up. But how the-come I have to work my butt off just to help Serafie? That doesn't seem right at the-all.
Well, just pretend you're helping us collect Mirages.
She doesn't need to pretend, that's what my goal in all this is.
Except I don't think this Mirage is too happy about being "collected."
I don't imagine any of them are, but that's not going to stop us from doing it anyway.
Diva Serafie isn't a major threat, but she is rather ailment happy. Particularly Sleep.
She'll try for Lullaby and then for her special attack, Silent Voice. This attack can inflict Oblivion and does Wind damage.
Lil' Update 8 Highlights - Silent Voice
But both of our stacks resist it, so it hits as hard as a bag of feathers.
Heh heh... Heh heh heh heh... Heh heh heh heh heh!
Not so fast. The only reason you won just now is because Lann and Reynn were there to help you out.
Huh? Whuh? They can do that?
Sure can. You must have sensed them there, by your side?
Right! Now that my prismarium has gotten just a little more robust-y, I expect to do great things! Lann. Reynn.
We get a Siren and Diva Serafie memento for beating the quest, so we can now get Serafie's special transfig as well as the generic version.
Siren is similar to Bismarck in that it only makes scattered appearances through the series. Starting in VI, she only shows up in a few other games outside of that (such as VIII and XI). Her attacks focus on inflicting Silence on enemies. The winged design we see here came about in VIII. Her original appearance in VI was just as a normal looking, although scantily clad (or in the Super Famicom version, with ass on full display), woman with a harp.
Finally, here is Bablizz's evolution. I unlocked it while trying to grind up for Shivalry.
And this dude came about while training Imp to transfig into Diablos (who, as I have confirmed, doesn't have an "S" on his wings. It's just Diablo).
We're finally done with side stuff (for the time being)! Next time we'll start the march back towards Brandelis where the twins will, I dunno, beat the bad guys up worse than the first time? Which will I guess save their parents and stop Brandelis for good?
They do have the vague plan of switching the Ultima Gate to reverse I suppose Still unclear on how they plan to do that. Can they even do that? I guess we'll find out.