The Running Diary: Final Fantasy VIII -3-

_Previously on Final Fantasy VIII: Three of my five party members collapsed in a forest and embarked in a shared dream where they were inside the bodies of 3 different people in the past. The other two just casually stood around, waiting for them to finish, and when they did, everybody accepted the explanation of “It was some kind of shared dream, I don’t even know, let’s not worry about it, it’s fine.”

I like FF8, but I’ll admit that it’s more than slightly ridiculous. Then again, a major plot point of FF7 has Cloud float into the air and start walking around on the ceiling for no discernible reason, nobody seems phased by it and just continue on their merry exposition dumping way. PS1 RPG’s, I miss you.

_I always wonder about the passage of time in games. Like…it obviously doesn’t take people 50 real-time hours of sleep deprived adventuring to go from a lowly newbie warrior to literally saving the world…we’re meant to pretend these things are taking days, months, possibly years. But it was still a little funny for Squall and Co. to have to set out from Balamb, help kidnap a fake president, sneak around Timber, make a daring escape by train, and two shared dream comas later, complete their trek to Galbadia Garden, only to meet up with Raijin and Fujin who just casually came over to deliver a message. All of that stuff about Garden being involved with an attempt on the president of another country’s life, and they’re still going back and forth between countries with lickity speed like it ain’t no thang. Maybe it’s because they’re not actually SeeD’s or something. But it’s not like your party walks around in full on SeeD uniforms. Squall wears his doofy half-coat all game long.

_I would call out Irvine for being really effeminate, but the entire male cast of party members in this game can be pretty effeminate.

_Having played this game before, it’s kind of funny how much of a focus there is on more modern means of transportation like trains and cars, knowing that they’ll eventually be replaced as transportation by a giant hovership building and a literal spaceship.

_The party receives orders to assassinate the sorceress, and to meet with General Caraway to go over the plan. Naturally, when we arrive at his house, we’re turned away by a mook guard in front of his house. We’re told that “many students wish to call on the General.” Apparently, he sends them on tests to make sure they’re worth his time. And that “there was a student yesterday who has yet to return from the test,” which makes it sound like the General is a dick who is willing to send youths into life threatening situations to gain an audience with him. Oh, also, while it’s not made known at this point in time in the game, Rinoa is the General’s daughter. She just decided that instead of chiming in about being his daughter, a potentially life threatening quest to gain entry into her own house to talk to her father is totally OK.

_I like how deserted Deling City seems outside of the market. Even better when you see how many people live there during the parade.

_Irvine’s character introduction is simply horrible. He’s introduced by having a butterfly land on his finger and fake gunshotting it off, followed by him hitting on all of the female party members, and then gets cold feet trying to shoot Edea. Irvine’s first impression on the player: Effeminate lecherous failure.

_Laguna is Julia’s “true love who went off to war and never came back.” She had all of one extended conversation with him ever. Other than that, he just went to a hotel bar and watched her play piano a bunch. Thanks for the skewing of impressionable youth’s images of romance, video games.

_There’s so much to say about the D-District Prison. Like the fact that they use the tube cells to transport prisoners between all of the floors, but four of the party members are in a cell that’s just a massive room…and every other cell in the prison are just huge rooms, and not the tubes. Zell breaks out of his cell to find the party’s weapons…lying on the floor of the hallway one level up from where they were being held. Moombas can’t communicate with the people there, but are used as a huge source of labor. The prison has a magic dampening field which doesn’t work at all in any battles while it’s up. GG@being supremely finished and polished, FF8. And finally, I’m not sure if physics work that way regarding when the three pillars of the prison drill into the ground like that, but maybe that’s why the bridge slides away, to have it make some semblance of sense. That’s why it’s put after the GG as kind of a footnote.

_I would have more to say about the ensuing missile base infiltration, but that’s kind of what any operation that purposely makes their soldiers faceless drones is asking for.

-Final thoughts for the day- I love Squall’s internalizations and don’t quite understand why he’s as disliked as he seems to be.



Filed under Playtime

2 responses to “The Running Diary: Final Fantasy VIII -3-

  1. I never really understood the Squall hate either. He does express a bit of teenage angst, but he’s not nearly as bad as some of the other JRPG leads of the time, and the plot wouldn’t be nearly the same if it didn’t have the opportunity to pull him out of that angst.

    • _hojo

      The angst is believable too. He’s an 18 year old fresh-faced SeeD graduate who all of a sudden finds everybody heaping tons of responsibility upon his shoulders. A lot of his internal dialog is wondering why everybody defers to him when he feels he hasn’t done anything to deserve it. He plays the role of reluctant hero, oftentimes having things thrust upon him and thinking to himself “Man, why am I the one being asked to do this?” while just accepting it and saying “…OK” to the people asking things of him.

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