The Running Diary: Final Fantasy VIII -10-

Previously on Final Fantasy VIII: We killed so many sorceresses, that PETA would’ve had a problem with the game if sorceresses were tigers. Hell, they could’ve gotten a two-fer and pissed off Islam if they made them cows. It’s kind of weird…the entire MO of SeeD is to fight the sorceress, and then at the end of the game, you fight somewhere around 15 of them. While most of them were from throughout the planet’s history, Edea does mention how there can be multiple sorceresses…but SeeD’s mission isn’t to fight sorceresses, but “the sorceress.” Singular. They should have had more of them littering the plot…even though there are 4 of them throughout the game.

_Here we are…Ultimecia’s Castle. Chains to the shore of the orphanage. With some magic gates that spew me out around the world map. OK…so I get that the towns and stuff are inaccessible because time compression is complicated, I guess…but that doesn’t really explain why compressed time world is exactly the same outside of the ability to enter towns, does it? I mean, monsters on the world map are completely unaffected by time compression. They can fuck with me freely. None of the islands have shifted throughout the millenia? Water levels never rose? There wasn’t ever a civilization on the southern continent? If all of time has been compressed into one point, why did the present [for the party] supersede everything? “Centra? Yeah, let’s just compress the barren wasteland instead of the ancient civilization.” I mean…it’s not like they had to make an actual town layout, it could’ve just been a decoration on the map. Not like we’d be able to fucking enter it anyways.

…mmmmm~

_You know, the whole “Commands locked” is…interesting, I guess…except since you can fight the bosses in almost any order, they made them all a bunch of wussy mooks to help out. Sure…part of it was that I was doing a low-level run…but when I can beat Tiamat with only two commands, you have failed in your final dungeon boss difficulty.

_Running around Ultimecia’s Castle with encounters turned off, you come to a few realizations. One – It’s needlessly complicated in many places. Case in point: the painting room. Two – Somehow while being needlessly complicated, it’s also incredibly straightforward. You have two parties running around, but you rarely, if ever, actually need to control the secondary party for any extended length of time. I mentioned in an earlier post how FF8 often times feels unfinished, and Ulty’s Castle is another example. It’s like a bunch of unfinished ideas. “We should have two parties exploring simultaneously! Oh, we ran out of time to properly design the dungeon to accommodate that, just have the 2nd party pull a couple switches.” “Let’s spread all of the dungeon bosses around so you can fight them in any order! Shit, we ran out of time to properly balance them in difficulty, make them all Disc 1 difficult.”

_Oh yeah, while I’m thinking about it: Any room in an RPG containing complex puzzles should be sans random encounters. Any time I’m trying to remember something only to get interrupted by a WHOOWHOOWHOOWHOOOOOSH battle splash transition and then a battle, I am annoyed. If you’re making a puzzle heavy game, make the encounters visible.

Although I still love Wild ARMs puzzle dungeons. I’m a hypocrite, it’s cool.

_8 wussy bosses down, Omega Weapon…still alive, cause my team is all Lv.10 and he’s Lv.100…it’s Ultimecia time.

_I always wondered who exactly Ulty is dressing for. I got the impression that she basically secludes herself in her evil castle in the future, plotting to compress time and never really mingled with other humans, so why does she dress at at, much less dress slutty? It can’t be for warmth. Are monsters impressed by her cleavage? Is she too modest to be fully nude in front of evil creatures? Is it just video game design? Yeah, just video game design.

_The Ultimecia boss fight is pretty good, even if it’s not very difficult. Multiple forms, par for the RPG course, but they’re cool forms. First is just her bein’ a sorceress, then she summons Griever, a huge flying lion beast, then she junctions herself to it, then she turns into a double torso’d creature with a light for a face and a dress that flows into space. It’s reminds me of Zeromus or Neo Exdeath in the “totaly fucked up” department, only doesn’t look like a bunch of barf with random body parts attached to it. Seriously. What is this? If I’m lying on my death bed and I see a bright light, I hope that God is there, standing in front of a chalkboard with Zeromus’ final form on it and a diagram highlighting what each section is supposed to be. It doesn’t even have to be “face, hands, torso” and stuff, since maybe he simply morphed into a form where external features are simply irrelevant. But I’d still love to know things like “Where is his brain located?” or “If he performs a physical attack, what appendage is he using to strike my party?” I’d prefer that before “Meaning of existence.”

The Ultimecia fight is just brilliant musically, starting with Premonition, moving into The Legendary Beast partway through the Griever fight, Maybe I’m a Lion for the Ultigriever fusion (which has such an awesome intro, it reminds me of the opening seconds of MM3’s Wily Castle boss music in terms of intro epicness), then finally capping off with The Extreme, which, I don’t care about your opinion about what FF game is the best, The Extreme is the best final boss music in the series, and is pretty much the cherry on top of Uematsu’s best score of the franchise. The nest closest would be the Dancing Mad movement that starts with toga Kefka, from the intro of the game, with the organ build and the fake chanting replicated with a SNES soundchip, then into the percussion. If I was rating it based on presentation, this would win, due to the synchronization with the game itself, with the organ building while the screen scrolls up into the heavens, the chanting starting when Kefka descends, and the drums kicking as he begins his “Life…dreams…” spiel. But I’m also a sucker for battling to down-tempo music. I loooooooove the Oerba section of FF13, where Dust To Dust plays throughout the entire aera, battles included. Favorite section of the game. So final fight letting you beat up Ultimecia during the intro of The Extreme? Winner for me.

_Where do I begin with the ending? I really don’t know…I think I’d like to go more in depth with the entire game in the near future, in a more serious matter than this running diary. So, I’ll just say that Squall fucked up time because he didn’t believe in himself, forgot about friendship, and told love to fuck off. Zell loves wieners. Seeing the characters in full on CG reminds me that I love the character designs in this game, outside of Zell’s face tattoo. And Squall is a dumbass.


_I hope you’ve enjoyed my running diary of FF8, even if the end was not posted in a timely fashion. I apologize for that. But it’s ok, because nobody was checking in on a daily basis for updates ;-D I hope you enjoyed it, though.

Final final thought for the day– Squall longs for his days as an orphan. Life at Garden was that shitty.

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1 Comment

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One response to “The Running Diary: Final Fantasy VIII -10-

  1. I enjoyed it, at least.

    Ultimecia’s Castle is one of my favorite locations in the game, visually. I absolutely adore the aesthetic of that place. I’ve always found the gameplay in this section to be pretty unmemorable, though. Except for Omega Weapon, I never have any strong recollections about any of the bosses when I think back to my runs through that section.

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