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  -Part 1 :: [10.29.04]
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"As if to support my Gay Pride theory, Bitch shows up as the fourth seed. Where Squally enjoyed vertical thrusts of his gunblade, Bitch is more of a horizontal man (though his sword is also pulsing with purple light). I don't know what that says about him, but it has to say something."
     -Sam, Kingdom Hearts Part 13




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Final Fantasy VI : Part 4
By Ryan
Posted 09.21.06
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
So, instead of accepting the blame for this recap being so monstrously long in coming, I'm going to go ahead and just lay all the responsibility for this recap's tardiness on whichever forumite it was that commented on how quickly the recaps for Final Fantasy VI were being churned out back when Part 3 came out in March of 2005. I mean, a comment like that pretty much means I have no other choice but to wait a bare minimum of 19 months to continue the recap. So, way to go, asshole.

I mean, it certainly wasn't that I died a couple hundred times in the Imperial Camp while trying to tape the new footage, or anything, and then got fed up with FFVI and gave it up for awhile so I could play Kingdom Hearts 2 instead. Gosh, you guys. How lazy do you think I am? It was totally the aforementioned forumite's fault. Geez.

Okay, so last time, GUILE started his quest to reunite with TWIGGY and company, after having stupidly "fallen" from their raft while fighting a giant purple tentacle monster. Under Sam's sound control, Guile joined ranks with FLAFFY, the ninja whose nickname was totally not outdated when I thought it up in Part 2, and KYAN, the fabulously tragic swordsman whose hobbies include grooming his porno mustache, rampaging against Imperial Stormtroopers, and being an anachronistic reminder of a simpler time, when people used the word "thou" and didn't know how to operate heavy machinery. And he likes to grieve for his dead family, I guess. Part 3 concluded, you'll remember, with Kyan saying goodbye to his wife and child on the Phantom Train and then, like, four seconds later, pledging the rest of his life and love to his hot new beefcake buddy, Guile.

We rejoin Guile and Kyan on the world map directly outside of the Phantom Forest, because that's where Sam unceremoniously dumped them at the end of the last recap. A quick exploration of the area reveals that the forest empties into a small plain surrounded on all sides by mountains. The only place of interest is a small mountain path etched into the side of one of the nearby ranges. Guile, stupid though he is, can see that he's clearly supposed to go there, and makes off in that direction. But of course, because Points A and B are more than an inch apart, he has to fight, like, a bazillion random battles along the way. Now, normally, I would complain about how it's hard to tell which is on more juice, the random battle generator or Guile, yadda yadda yadda, but I actually don't mind this bout of fighting because, unlike Sam, I managed to keep Flaffy in the party throughout the whole Phantom Train endeavor, and, let's face it, random battles are just that much cooler when you've got a ninja flinging shit all over the place and flipping out and killing people with his psycho Napoleonic dog.

Woo!
 

So Guile finally makes it to the little mountain path, and then traverses through a tiny little cave, and appears at the top of the mountain. Which makes practically no sense, but hey, no dungeon crawl, so I'm not complaining. A placard at the top of the screen announces, "BAREN FALLS," and, as Guile approaches the precipice, he notices that there is indeed a range of waterfalls cascading down the background. "This must be Baren Falls," Guile duhs, and Kyan and Flaffy morph out of him to share the romantic view. Kyan reports, "to the south is the Veldt. There are dangerous creatures there." Guile groans and comments that the "Empire's right on [their] tails," which isn't exactly true, but whatever, because it prompts Kyan to deduce that, if only they can slip through the Veldt, whatever that is, they can reach the town of Mobliz. Why they feel the need to do that is quite beyond me, because Mobliz is NOWHERE NEAR Narshe, the purported ultimate destination. Maybe they saw a glowing neon "GO HERE" sign flashing in the distance and felt compelled to obey.

Flaffy realizes that he is the only person of the three that has a functioning brain stem, and decides that now is as good a time as any to jump ship, before this quest evolves into a midnight trip for stuffed French toast at the IHOP in the distant hamlet of Bumfuckegyptshire, beyond the Cavern of Wankers and across the Plains of Screeching Fangirls. "I have served my purpose," he whispers, and starts to walk away. Guile calls after him, thanking Flaffy for his help, and suggests that they join ranks again sometime. Flaffy totally blows him off and walks off the bottom of the screen. Where the only other place to go is the Phantom Forest. But whatever! More alone time for Guile and Kyan.

Okay, so you've heard of those crazy couples that get married while like, bungee jumping or leaping from an airplane, to prove how X-TREME their love for each other is? I think that Guile and Kyan get caught up in a little bit of that craziness, because no sooner has Flaffy left, when Guile scoops Kyan up into his arms and takes a running leap from the top of the mountain, right into the falls.

Ironically enough, the danger in this scenario comes, not from the bone-crushing force of the water, but from a random-ass fleet of piranhas that besieges the dynamic duo on the way down. On the battle screen, which has a background of upwards-flowing blue and white lines, to remind us that we're fighting while tumbling down a freaking waterfall, two piranha fish leap ... on top of the water? I don't really know. This part of the game is playing it fast and loose with perspective, but the most salient point is that Kyan uses Dispatch and Guile uses Aura Bolt, and then the piranhas die. And then three more piranhas appear. And then they get Dispatched and, um, Bolted. And then three more piranhas appear. And then they get killed. And then two more piranhas. And then I kind of wish this was Final Fantasy XII so I could just program Kyan and Guile with what to do and let them go to work. Because this is getting tedious. And then three more piranhas get sent to the giant toilet bowl in the sky. And then, finally, a single, fabulously pink piranha named Rizopas appears. It is slightly more challenging, in that it doesn't die instantly and actually gets a few turns to cast Ice magic on our flaming heroes, but in the end, it can't take the heat, and joins its brethren in the belly-up pile.

 
Money shot, right in the face!

After that series of battles, the screen fades to black, and when it fades back in, we find ourselves looking at some random river, flanked on both sides by grassy banks. We see Guile's unconscious form float lazily down the river, and get deposited on the grass. Guile remains unconscious, and a young boy with a ponytail and a tan/yellow/green color palette enters from the bottom of the screen. He wanders around like a doofus until he sees Guile, then he pulls two Don Knottses and runs to his side. Ponytail kid kind of hovers around Guile, nodding and crouching and prodding, until the Black Screen of Meta-Game Commentary scoops him up to give a proper introduction: "Draped in monster hides, eyes shining with intelligence. A youth surviving against all odds..." this is GAU. And, even though I could rename him GAY or something equally uncreative, I actually kind of hate Gau and never use him, so any nickname I would give him would only be for this recap, and I'm too lazy for that kind of half-assed crap. So Gau stays Gau.

The BSOMGC safely returns Gau to Guile's side, just in time for Guile to wake up. Guile shakes the water from his crew cut, turns to Gau, and, because he was unconscious for the whole BSMOGC thing, he asks Gau his name. Instead of responding, Gau Don Knottses right off the screen. Ooookay. Guile, who has absolutely no reaction to this strange sequence, walks down and onto the world map. I think we can assume that, because Guile doesn't freak out about Kyan's apparent absence, Kyan is still safely nestled within Guile's bulging pectoral musculature.

As soon as Guile appears on the world map, the rhythmic thumping and sliding of synthesized bongos and reed instruments hits the soundtrack, and, he must admit, it's rather catchy. It even carries over into the random battles, which is a nice diversion from the normal random battle music.

Speaking of random battles, there are a few notable things that happen here, on the enormous, and as of yet nameless, plain onto which we've been deposited. First, monsters defeated in battle here don't yield EXP, only money and items. Second, any non-boss monster the party has fought before can appear here, such as M-Tek Armor from the Imperial Base, Bombs from the Phantom Train, and those annoyingly weak little bunny rabbit monsters from the area near Narshe.

So, how do all these monsters get here?
A higher power intelligently designed them to be there.
They all evolved from monkeys and finches.
The same way Guile got here, duh.
I'll take "A Wizard Did It" for $500, Alex!

 

In one such random battle, Guile and Kyan find themselves facing off against one Lobo, from the caves of Narshe. After one hit from Guile's claws, it dies, and in its place, who should appear, but Gau. Gau spins around and shouts "Uwaoo~!!" and then stands there like an idiot. Since it's still technically a battle, Kyan's turn comes up and he uses Dispatch on Gau, impaling him on his enormous sword. Gau spins around again and over punctuates: "Uwaou!! Waooo...ooo! You...strangers...! Go away! You scare animals!", then he hops backwards off the screen, I mean, like, really hops, three or four times his own height. Then the battle is over.

So... I guess killing Gau isn't the way to go. Alas.

Guile, not at all discouraged that he hasn't quite yet figured out the secret to getting annoying Gau to join the party (after all, he's not very cute and WAAAAY too young), continues exploring the giant savannah. He learns that the entire area is surrounded on all sides by water, thereby severely limiting his options for what to do next, but he eventually stumbles upon a town, nestled safely in the northeast-most corner of the plains. The town's placard and its inhabitants identify it as "Mobliz."

 
Penis!

Seizing the opportunity to play his second-most favorite game ever (his first being, of course, a no-rules "wrestling match" with his brother and/or Kyan), Guile dashes around town, Talking to Everyone. The first person he talks to, an elderly man on the town's periphery, expresses his shock that Guile and Kyan arrived via the Baren Falls, commenting that they're "flowing like there's no tomorrow." Um, ew.

Moving on: Another man tells Guile that "this region's called the Veldt," and when he says that word, Guile has a fleeting memory of a crazy old man shouting, "Go on, git! I'm tossin' ya out onta the Veldt!", but he can't place where he heard it. Then, a woman tells Guile of a guy way to the north that is "a tad psycho," and "threw his own kid out, thinking it was a monster." Yet another man tells Guile that there is "a kid running with a herd of beasts" on the Veldt. Still another man tells Guile that when he threw some "Dried Meat" at a herd of animals on the Veldt, a wild boy came and stole it.

Even Guile's tiny brain is able to string these clues together: That crazy guy from the last recap threw his son out onto the Veldt years ago, where the son grew up to be Gau, crazy animal boy extraordinaire, and because Gau is so wild, his affections can be won over with Dried Meat, a Potion-like item that just happens to be for sale at the local Item Shop. Of course, I said that Guile's tiny brain is able to string those clues together, but it's really not. He doesn't make any comment about it whatsoever. But we, the audience, now know all about Gau, so whichever programmer it was that had to spend months of his life putting in those riveting fragments of backstory can rest assured that we took note of his laborious efforts. Guile's invisible controller makes him buy some Dried Meat in preparation for his next meeting with Gau, and then continues Talking to Everybody.

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