The Running Diary: Final Fantasy VIII -4-

Previously on Final Fantasy VIII: Two women and a cowboy snuck into a military base and sabotaged everything. Is it sexist of me to wonder how Selphie managed to fool everybody on the base because I assume that since the Galbadian military are bad, that there couldn’t possibly be any women in it so they should’ve gotten sniffed out immediately? But I guess nobody figuring them out just means that there are totally evil females all over the Galbadia army. Equality, yo.

_Squall and company return to Balamb Garden, only to find it in TOTAL CHAOS. Those not creepy Balamb Garden staff guys have, shockingly enough, turned on the headmaster, and are hunting him down. Squall is asked if he sides with the Headmaster or the Garden Master, the mysteriously named NORG. Naturally, Squall <3’s Cid because the creepy guys <3’s NORG, and anybody those guys would side is obviously bad news.

_Squall fights his way through some monsters and acquires Cid’s whereabouts. Turns out he was hiding in his office the whole time! I always wondered why more people didn’t hide in the most obvious place, since dumb bad guys never search the most obvious place because there’s no way they’d be there so spending time searching there would be a waste of time that would be better used searching remote areas, thus making it the best possible place to hide, as proven by Cid, hiding in his office. He’s not even hiding behind a crate or anything. He’s literally standing in the center of his office. If the creepy guys checked under the crack of the door, they would’ve seen his shoes.

_Anyways, Squall finds Cid, and Cid tells Squall about his idea to save Garden from possible incoming missiles. He’s gonna go underneath Garden and…do something. He straight up says he doesn’t know what he’s going to do. He’s gonna go underneath the place, push some buttons, turns some levers, cross some fingers, save Garden. Solid plan, but then Squall asks to do it, which turns out to be a good idea, seeing how Cid is a fat old man and physical labor doesn’t seem like something he should be doing. And there are also monsters down there, and unless Cid is secretly a bad ass, I don’t think he’s even gonna be able to handle that group of 3 Geezards down there.

_Squall goes down, turns levers, pushes knobs, climbs ladders that lead nowhere so they could fall through things, and suddenly Garden starts FUCKING FLYING. The giant military college campus starts floating in the air and drifts out of the way of missiles. I’ll say this about FF8…the first time I played it, I didn’t see a lot of things coming. Balamb Garden acting as my first semi-airship? Didn’t see it coming. Also, Squall manages to avoid crashing into the town of Balamb by doing what he did to save Garden…pushes some buttons, turns some knobs, doesn’t kill everybody.

_So Squall saved everybody, and NORG seems pleased by this turn of events and asks to see him and his buddies. Turns out NORG is a fat fuck that lives in a giant mechanical pod AND-SPEAKS-WITH-DASHES-AND-CAPS-UNLESS-HE-IS-LAUGHING bufufufururu! I’ve always wondered if the characters in games can recognize the strange text-based speech patterns of characters like that. Like…if NORG was voiced, could you hear the dashes in the place of spaces? Was everybody aware that chaos’ name in Xenosaga was lowercase? Was it possible to capitalize “chaos” vocally to the point where he’d have corrected you? If the Sacred minotaur brother spoke, could you distinctly hear him lowercasing his i? These are things I have thought about.

_NORG turns out to be a bad guy, as most fat fucks inside of mechanical lazy pods are wont to do. He wants to turn over Squall and his cohorts to Sorceress Edea as an act of good faith, even though Garden was literally founded to fight the sorceress. Something about wanting to lull her into a false sense of security or something…which really isn’t going to work because Garden and SeeD was, again, literally established to combat the sorceress. Anyways, naturally, as going back to prison and once more suffering the wrath of Mean Guy is low on the list of things the party would like to do, they decide to kill NORG, the financial backer of Garden…yup. Fat fuck in a pod, was the deep pockets behind this shindig. I mean…given *spoilers at this point* Cid and Edea’s background of “people who ran an orphanage,” I suppose “global militaristic educational organization” was a little bit out of their price range, so it makes sense that somebody else would’ve ponied up the start-up money. So yeah, we kill him, possibly. Or he is sword-slashed into a cocoon state or something. I forget. I remember something involving a cocoon forming inside his Lay-Z-Boy later on.

_I’ve always loved how useless and non-existent local police forces tend to be in video games. Sure, we were justified in defending ourselves, the guy wanted to give us up to the evil sorceress, but we weren’t even really debriefed or anything. Cid didn’t push the issue. Hell, he didn’t even really ask what happened in the basement. But think about all the times in games where you end up in prison…usually “Once.” But when you think about it…most of the times, your player character should be spending some time in the jail of pretty much every single place they go, at least until they clear up the motives behind their murderous actions.

_I completely forgot Edea had a ship full of SeeD’s, much less white ones.

_Considering how much she “cares” about Squall, Ellone is pretty fucking cryptic and evasive when he asks her why she’s making him collapse in a heap and run around as Laguna for 30 minutes at a time. Granted, I don’t have any mystical RPG mind powers, but I’ve never once had a situation where “It’s complicated” *walk away without elaborating* presented itself as an acceptable answer to any question ever. It seems to be something that lots of people in video games, books, movies and television shows fully accept and don’t have any problems with, though.

_Fun fact: I started this post under the impression that it’d just be the intro to a longer entry, then it turned out enough happened in the one segment of Balamb Garden to be longer than any of the previous three. Next time – Hippie fishing villages.


Final thoughts for the day– Cid run Garden for 12 years, defers all important tasks to a 17 year old Squall a month or two after he graduates, nobody calls him out on his incompetence.

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