The Running Diary: Final Fantasy VIII -6-

Previously on Final Fantasy VIII: We drove a building into a fishing village and brought violence upon it. The residents didn’t get as upset as you would think, and in fact helped us fix our building and taught us how to operate it. Video game logic, man, Video game logic.

_Ever notice how in RPG’s, you’ll often go on fetch quests that make no sense? I arrived in the village of Winhill and talked to a man in a mansion. His favorite vase had disappeared and I had been nominated to find it…actually, he just mentioned it to me, and then Squall looks for it on his own. Seriously, the guy doesn’t actually ask you to do it. It’s kind of strange. Anyways, the vase was broken and the pieces are, naturally, scattered all over the village. That’s happened to me before. A precious item falls off of a high shelf and shatters into pieces which then spread across the city limits of my village of residence, sometimes through the walls of my own home and into other people’s houses.

…ok, see that it’s implied that all of the animals of the town like to go into the mansion and cause trouble, but still. This is a bit ridiculous.

_I headed over to a giant, dull, gray, lifeless continent in the southern hemisphere of the planet to find the large remains of the physics defying Centra Ruins. Or maybe not, I don’t actually know what kind of material the ruins are made out of. Maybe all of the metal used is extremely light and durable. Maybe it was weaved with out of this world metal spider silk by a mutant, steel laying spider. Maybe all of the material was lifting into place by powerful mages and their fantastical spell continues to hold it in place to this day. Or perhaps the designers gave no fucks when it came to practicality in the structures they drew.

_I came to these wondrous ruins for two things, the first of which being the extremely useful Odin. And by useful, I mean “He’ll only pop into random battles to instant kill enemies so piss easy, it would’ve been faster if he hadn’t shown up at all.” As a being of supreme power, he institutes a countdown the moment the party steps…on the dirt near the ruins. We haven’t even technically entered the place and a timer has already started. There must’ve been a sign off-screen that “Timer starts when you pass this sign!” that I missed. Or maybe Odin is a dick. I’m leaning towards the latter.

As with any dungeon with a time limit in any RPG ever made, your party decides that now is the best possible time to dawdle around and take as long as humanly possible to preform every menial task set before them. Be it only climbing a ladder once all 3 people have grabbed a hold of the rungs [Which not only is slow, but sounds extremely dangerous to boot], to making sure everybody has properly clipped into each other one at a time jumping over a small gap on the floor, to having everybody solve puzzles by traveling in a group and not splitting up to finish multiple tasks that can be accomplished by a single person, the Centra Ruins take forever. Well, not REALLY forever, I mean, the timer is only 20 minutes long, and that’s more than enough time, it’s just the piss slow animations  are eye-rollingly obnoxious. I just love the classic timed dungeon format of “I bet you think you have plenty of time, but little do you know, we’re going to make everything your party does noticeably slower than every action they’ve done in the entire game so far.”

There’s also a puzzle involving a randomly generated code, which your party inputs into a…mysterious, ethereal set of numbers floating over a torch fire.


I’m not sure if the party is actually taking note of how strange this actually is.

So from there, a door opens up and I fight Odin. He says some shit about besting him in combat…only he doesn’t actually fight. He sits there on his horse and lets me wail on him. Doesn’t attack, doesn’t defend, doesn’t counter…he does nothing. Maybe the idea was “He doesn’t need to do anything, can you beat him before running out of tiiiiimmmmmeeee?!” But…I mean…fuck, he does NOTHING. You might as well have to answer he, these questions three to beat him, for all the combat prowess he shows.

_After beating Odin, my quest in the Ruins were not over, as I had an actual challenge ahead in the form of the Tonberry King that offers up an actual reward that’s worth a shit in the Tonberry GF. Luckily, my characters are super broken, Micro Missiles are super broken, and I have spells and items to burn, so twasn’t even a thang.

_Sadly, with that, there are no more sidequests to do at this stage of the game…other than the Chocobo Forests, which I’d rather wait until I have a mode of transportation that isn’t ass-tactular so as to remove the most annoying aspect of the entire quest which is “Getting to the forests.” So I’m left with only a single task remaining…actual story progression.

_I’m torn. On the one hand, I say to myself “The Galbadian military is so fucking worthless and incompetent, why would the Sorceress use them as her military might?” On the other hand, their utter incompetency and lack of common sense is probably what led them to getting manipulated and taken over by the Sorceress so easily. Either way, I can easily envision Edea using magic to form a giant phantasmal demon claw with which to adequately facepalm into due to the utter failure that is the military she now controls.

Long story short, Squall spins the most half-assed story ever to “infiltrate” Balamb, beats the fuck out of Fujin and Raijin, and via beating up two non-Galbadian thugs that were placed into high ranking positions by way of being friends with Edea’s personal bodyguard, we liberated the city. GG.

Final thoughts for the day– Tonberrys are pretty awesome.


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