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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
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"It's safe to say that those of us who have played Chrono Cross are no strangers to nightmare fodder. Shit, you've read the recaps -- you know about things like Jesus the Talking Hippie Scarecrow and Skelly. Well, this boss is right up there in terms of things that cause you to leave the lights on at night -- it's no animated clown skeleton, true, but it is a floating sun whose scary-ass grin would creep out Tidus."
     -Jeanne, Chrono Cross Part 8




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Final Fantasy VII : Part 4
By Jeanne
Posted 12.08.02
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
I know, I know. After the cross-dressing and sexual innuendos of Part 3, anything else is bound to be a letdown, even if it does involve a massive number of deaths. Crap, I gave away what happens. Oh well, you'll still read this, won't you? Hey, get back here!

So now Bitch, Tita, and Airhead all know about the dastardly Shinra plot to destroy the support whatchamahoozit for the plate above Sector 7 in order to kill AVALANCHE. Unfortunately, they're in a train graveyard and not able to stop Shinra.

The train graveyard is very interesting, in a "game designers smoked lots of crack" sort of way. There are ruined trains here and there blocking the passage of our heroes, and they can only climb or enter certain train cars. In fact, the game designers were so thrilled that they could make their new 3D toy do all sorts of nifty new things that they decided to make it a puzzle to get through. Never mind that Bitch and friends could probably just go under the cars blocking their way. Maybe Tita just didn't want to bend over in those shorts. But wait, that can't be the case -- of course she'd want to bend over in front of Bitch.

Making this part even more "fun" is the fact that there are random battles that are long enough to make me forget where the hell I was going. The random battles often include these monsters that look like a mix between sperm and those little whippersnapper firecrackers that you throw on the ground or step on to make them explode. They are very annoying because their habit of disappearing when hit draws the battle out to obnoxious lengths. There are random prizes scattered about, like that makes up for it.

After Bitch actually moves a train along the tracks in order to avoid climbing over what looks like a couple of wooden planks, the party reaches the edge of the trainyard. That was a really riveting scene. Kudos to whoever planned that one out. They walk past the train station and reach the Sector 7 pillar. They're all thrilled that they made it in time. Obviously they don't hear the tense battle music in the background that tells the rest of us that some serious shit is going down.

There's a crowd standing around and gawking up at the support pillar, apparently unconcerned about the fact that they are soon to be squashed like bugs. This is what we call natural selection, folks, or in other terms, "putting chlorine in the gene pool."

The obligatory phallic tower.
 

The camera spends the next five minutes panning slowly up the entire pillar. I guess we really needed to see the full expanse of the World's Longest Staircase. Yellow lights flicker along the length of said staircase, obviously meant to be gunfire. Suddenly, someone falls from the very top, meaning that he or she is probably dead. It turns out to be Wedge, and he's miraculously still alive. Oh, please. Everyone rushes over, even the rubberneck assholes, and Bitch asks Wedge if he's all right. ".........Bitch......You remembered.......my name," he manages. Wait a minute. The guy is on the edge of death after fighting to save a bunch of people from being killed and he's all giddy because some pointy-haired asshole remembered his name? Give me a break.

Wedge implores Bitch to help Mr. T at the top of the pillar. I'm not going to even stop to wonder how or why AVALANCHE found out about the plans for Operation Pancake, because my brain will probably explode. I thought that the whole point was to smash them under the pillar, without letting them know they were about to be smashed. I mean, hello, people. We'll pretend that happy little elves showed up and randomly told Mr. T and his buddies all about the evil plan just so that they could conveniently be there to try to thwart the bad guys.

Bitch decides that he's going to be all heroic, and he tells Airhead to stay behind to take care of Wedge. Luckily, Airhead doesn't pitch a hissy fit about staying behind or about Bitch being alone with Tita. Thank God. Before Tita leaves with her big strong manly man, she starts to tell Airhead about Marlene. Airhead assures her that she'll get Marlene to a safe place. Meanwhile, the pillar blows up and everyone is crushed. Well, not really, but they should really hurry up and stop with the jabbering here.

But no. Tita has to warn all the gawkers to get out of Sector 7. Damn it, Tita, stop messing with the course of nature. The morons scatter like those gay guys in the men's room in the movie Brain Candy when the cops show up. Now that Tita saved all the idiots, she and Bitch finally get down to business. No, not like that. Yuck.

Whoever built the pillar put a save point right at the base. That was considerate. Now it's Bitch's turn to climb up the Ungodly Long Staircase From Hell. At the first landing, Biggs is hanging over the railing like a limp sock. He's not in good shape. But he's still well enough to interrogate Bitch. "Bitch..." he wheezes, "so you don't care...what happens...to the...Planet?" I think that was answered way back in Part 1 when Bitch said he didn't care what happens to the Planet. Pay attention, Biggs. But because Bitch is such a nice guy, he says, "You're wounded..." instead of "Nope, not interested." "Thanks, Bitch," Biggs says sarcastically (at least I hope that's his tone) after Bitch states the obvious. Then he, like Wedge, tells Bitch to go help Mr. T. It wouldn't be a Final Fantasy game if someone wasn't reminded twenty fucking times to do something.

The staircase is long enough to warrant a screen switch. You'd think that because I've already gotten the point that the staircase is Really Damn Long, the game designers would cut me some slack and not make me walk around fifteen zillion levels of stairs. Well, you're wrong, because walking up all those stairs is exactly what I get to do. Joy. I get to fight random battles, too. This just can't get any better.

Bitch finds Jessie, who is also pretty messed up. That doesn't mean she can't be completely melodramatic, though. "...Bitch...I'm glad......I could talk with you...one last time," she pants. "Don't say 'last'..." I make Bitch say because we all know he's a huge softie underneath that badass prison bitch exterior. Jessie wanks about how this is their punishment for all the people who died from their earlier actions. No, it's because the game designers wanted to be all tragic and shit.

 
I don't even want to know how he knows that.

With that little moment out of the way, Bitch and Tita continue to the top of the pillar, fighting more random battles because they have all the time in the world. Mr. T is standing there alone, incessantly shooting his gun arm at something offscreen. "Be careful!" he warns Tita and Bitch. "They're attacking from the helicopter." Tita randomly decides, right now, that they need to equip. A little message comes up, telling me to hit the menu button to equip and to hit the OK button when I'm ready. I hit the OK button to clear the screen, and realize that I fucked up, preventing myself from equipping. Shit. I guess that means I'm going to die in the inevitable boss battle, huh? Keep reading.

"Here they come!" Tita says, stating the obvious. The camera view switches so that we can actually see the aforementioned helicopter. There's a guy riding the tail. Wait, that sounds bad. The guy jumps onto the platform at the top of the tower. Well, spank my ass and call me a bitch, it's Reno, the guy who tried to kidnap Airhead earlier. He walks over to the control panel (yes, there is a control panel on the platform) and says, "You're too late. Once I push this button..." Wait a minute. What genius designed this pillar with a freaking self-destruct button? Reno pushes the button and is all, "Yup, I pushed the button" because we can't have a non-narrated action in this game. Tita, standing on the other side of Reno from Bitch and Mr. T, yells that they need to disarm it. Way to announce your plans. Reno, using nothing but his ears, somehow figures out that Bitch and the others are going to try to disarm the self-destructy thingy. "I can't have you do that. No one get in the way of Reno and the Turks..." Whoops, translators. And then we have our boss battle.

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