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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
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"Twiggy's all, 'WTF, perv, who the hell are you?!' The king turns around and gives what I'm sure is a roguish wink to Twiggy. 'How rude of me to turn my back on a lady!' he quips. Also, he's doing the same finger-wag thing that Winona did earlier, but this particular sprite appears to be flipping our heroine the bird. Hee."
     -Sam, Final Fantasy VI Part 1




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Final Fantasy VII : Part 5
By Jeanne
Posted 07.27.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
The last recap involved a bunch of innocent people going squish beneath the giant plate, due to the jerkiness of Shinra. Mr. T lost his best buds, but thank God his damn rugrat is safe. Unfortunately for us, Airhead was captured, so that means another Final Fantasy heroine rescue mission. This one takes place in the Shinra HQ itself.

So now our heroes and Tita are at the HQ, and contrary to Mr. T's suggestion, Bitch and Tita decide not to go in the front. Oh, I think I'm so smart, avoiding the inevitable battles. I don't realize quite what I'm in for, however.

Now, you might think it would be difficult to enter a high security building from a side door. Not so. Not only is there a giant red arrow pointing right at the door, there isn't even a lock or anything! I don't want it to seem like I'm complaining, because quite honestly, I'm lazy and I don't want to fuck around trying to find a passcode or magic key or something. That will come later. Still, it's rather nonsensical, and it's my job to point that out.

The side door leads to a never-ending stairwell. At least, that's what I'm guessing from the way the camera pans down from several floors up, not to mention Mr. T's bitching. I don't know why he's having such a whiny fit -- it's not like he's out of shape like, say, me. Tita is already sick of his bitching after only a couple lines of dialogue, so she starts up the stairs. Mr. T takes off after her, leaving Bitch -- and me -- behind.

That means I get to control Bitch through this entire sequence. You know how fanboys are always complaining about games where they have to watch cut scenes instead of playing? I'd like one of them to play this particular part for me. Because, to put it mildly, it's extremely fucking tedious.

If you'll recall, Mr. T told us earlier that you need permission to access all the floors above the 60th. Now, I didn't actually count how many flights of stairs there are here, and I'm not going to, but I'll make an educated guess that the game designers did in fact program in all 60 flights of stairs. (Remember how I said the staircase up to the support column was endless? Oh, how na´ve I was.)

Along the way, there is inane dialogue and a few items. Like that's supposed to make it all better. I will say that I'm glad there are no random battles. If there were, I would be bald from tearing my hair out.

Mr. T had his memory cleaned out since the last recap, so -- between huffs and puffs -- he wonders why they're going in the back way. Bitch re-explains that they don't want to deal with a bunch of fighting and shit until they've rescued Airhead. At least he realizes that there will be fighting. I mean, what's a Final Fantasy "dungeon" without irritating random battles?

Mr. T also takes this opportunity to psychoanalyze Bitch. "So even you will fight for someone else. I had you figured wrong I guess." Bitch gets his panties in a knot over this, because God forbid anyone think he's not a complete heartless badass. Mr. T is all, "I'm just sayin'." Tita becomes all giggly, pissing off Bitch further. Just shut up, Tita.

More bitching from Mr. T. He asks how long these stairs are. "Why don't you ask them?" Tita retorts. Wow, now that's a snappy comeback. Take that, Mr. T! Unsurprisingly, this doesn't dissuade him from whining. On the next screen of stairs, he asks "Are we there yet?" three fucking times. Tita finally snots, "We're way way way way far away from being there, ok!?" Yippee.

 
It wouldn't surprise me.

More stairs. More whining from Mr. T. I'm surprised Bitch doesn't throw him over the railing. It's what I would do. Well, if I had sufficient upper body strength, that is. On the next set of stairs, Mr. T stops, exhausted. Tita tells him to get his ass moving, but Mr. T wanks, "Yeah, well all I know is I'm just flesh 'n' blood...'cept for this arm of mine." I'm so glad he qualified that, because we might have totally misunderstood his statement otherwise. He whinges about not being as studly as an ex-member of SOLDIER. Tita thinks she's such hot shit because she isn't tired, even though she has to lug those giant jugs everywhere. She heads up the stairs, only to stop and crouch down, afraid, begging Mr. T to go up the stairs first. I don't know if she's frightened to go first, with all the meanie monsters potentially lurking ahead, or if she's worried that the guys are going to look up her damn skirt. The translation here is not quite up to par...okay, it completely sucks. And this whole exchange is idiotic, because Tita has been in the lead up to this point with no problems whatsoever, so what the fuck? What makes it even more pointless is that while Tita waits for Bitch to go ahead of her, she's ahead of him on the next screen. I feel so good about wasting thirty seconds of my life on this.

Most annoying part about the stairs:
All that damn climbing without an analog controller
Mr. T's incessant whining
Tita's pointless behavior

 

Yet more stairs. Mr. T has now found another reason why Shinra sucks donkey balls -- their obnoxiously tall building. Everyone ignores him, and so he thankfully shuts up for a little while. Unfortunately, he starts up again, this time with melodrama. "Marlene, Daddy wanted to see your face one more time..." he wanks. Tita tells him he's acting like a "retard." Apparently, Tita never left the second grade. Finally, after yet another screen of stairs, the three of them reach the top. By now, both Mr. T and Tita are worn out. But not Bitch, because RPG heroes never get tired.

As soon as they step through the doorway, some Shit! There Are Intruders! Music starts playing. A group of soldiers near the elevators attacks. After our heroes beat the snot out of them, Bitch finds "Keycard 60" on the ground. I think most of you can figure out what this is for, but I'll tell you anyway: it allows access to the 60th floor. Bitch, Mr. T, and Tita pile into the tiny glass elevator and ride it up one floor. I hate people who do that. But at least these three have a good excuse.

The next scene is a Shinra guard in a surveillance room. As is typical for any guard in a situation where someone is trying to sneak in somewhere, he's currently asleep. The camera zooms in on one of the monitors, which shows the elevator doors on the 60th floor. The game designers tried to be clever here by making the close-up on the monitor blend in seamlessly with the next bit of gameplay. As Bitch exits the elevator, I regain control of him.

From here until the last floor, Bitch and the others have to solve puzzles and such to receive the keycard for the next floor. So even though they have to find several different keycards, in a highly secured building, they manage to do so easily in under half an hour. Shinra must be a bunch of dumbasses. Because I love you all so much, and because my life is (apparently) so sad and pathetic that I have nothing better to do than recap video games in detail, you'll be joining me on my quest to infiltrate the upper floors. Even though I already told you what happens. Ready?

On the 60th floor, there are two rows of what are supposed to be statues, but instead they look more like upside-down yellow buttplugs. Go FFVII graphics! Patrolling behind the yellow buttplugs are four soldiers. They are uncreative, and therefore move in set patterns, turning every so often to face forward between the buttplugs. What Bitch has to do is wait until they're not facing forward and then run to the next buttplug. After that, he has to direct the other party members across the 'plugs. Even though this is extremely easy compared to most "sneak past the moving guards" sequences in video games, I have had trouble with this in the past. Therefore, I expect a lot of frustration. To my surprise, I have no trouble at all. Score one for me.

Luckily, the door to the next level is open. This is good because they didn't find a keycard on this floor. What a coincidence. Apparently, according to Mr. T's exuberant yelling, they "gonna rock." Tita is all, "Um, don't forget we have to save Airhead." Because she assumes everyone is as stupid as she is. Mr. T is all, "Duh" and then they go up the stairs.

The 61st floor appears to be a courtyard type restaurant area, with trees and tables everywhere. A few people wander about aimlessly. When one of them asks what the hell Bitch is doing there, he has to decide how to answer. He can ask about Airhead or say nothing. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that giving away their true reason for snooping around is a bad idea. When Bitch clams up, the guy assumes he's "that whatcha call it," in true RPG fashion. Without even bothering to find out if indeed Bitch is that whatcha call it (Repair Division), the dude hands over his keycard. Dumbass.

 
So that's the kind of business Shinra is in.

Bitch and the others ride the elevator to the 62nd floor. Mayor Domino has his office there. Of course, Mayor Domino is completely useless, since Shinra runs the entire city. Wait, he's not completely useless. He guards over all the important documents, which are a large part of the next puzzle I have to solve. Mayor Domino is such a nice guy, he agrees to give Bitch the keycard if he guesses the password. If Bitch guesses it on the first try, the mayor will throw in a special item. Bitch is all over that. According to the strategy guide, I can simply pay the Deputy Mayor to tell me the password. However, I'm a cheap bitch and I have time to kill, so I do it the hard way. Let me rephrase that -- I decide to solve the puzzle.

The puzzle involves reading the titles of the documents on this floor, and finding the four that are in the wrong rooms. The number on each of the misplaced documents refers to the appropriate letter in the title. Unscrambling the four letters reveals the password. Because I so would have figured that out without the strategy guide. Damn game designers.

Apparently a young girl chose the bookshelf colors.
 

Finally Bitch figures out the password -- KING -- and tells it to the mayor, who proceeds to cream himself over the thought of being King of Midgar. Okay, buddy, whatever. He hands over Keycard 65 as well as some Elemental Materia. I'm not super thrilled about that last one. Mayor Domino keeps Bitch there a while longer, whining about how much he hates Shinra and wants them to SUFF3R!!!!111 He has a few issues he needs to work on.

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