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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
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  -Part 5 :: [08.17.03]
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  -Part 7 :: [12.11.04]
  -Part 8 :: [12.11.04]
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  -Part 10 :: [07.04.05]
  -Part 11 :: [01.28.09]


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"The pirate skeleton and his cronies were kind enough to unlock the door on their way in to attack Cronabe and the others, so Cronabe simply steps out into the hallway, which looks like your average pirate ship hallway. The crack creativity must have gone into creating all 40-some fucked up characters."
     -Jeanne, Chrono Cross Part 6




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Final Fantasy VIII : Part 7
By Jeanne
Posted 12.11.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
On the way to their post, Irvine makes small talk. "So like... Is it true that SeeDs aren't supposed to question their mission?" Squally breaks himself out of a daydream where Seifer is giving him orders that he can't refuse, and thinks to himself that he wishes he could question what's going on now. Well, I've done that, and I can say that he's better off not thinking about it. I have brain scars to show for it. "What do you care?" Squally wonders, being a total bitch. "So like...if you knew that your enemies were pure evil, you'd get more fired up to fight them, right?" Irvine asks. This silly question is just so Squally can have a deep and philosophical internal monologue about how there is no such thing as good or evil, just differences in viewpoints. It's our friend, the good old Shades of Gray again. Although I must believe in the existence of pure evil when thinking about the game designer brain(s) that created Rinhoa.

Squally rambles on about this inside his brain as they drop off the gateway team at, well, the gateway. The team of three is ready to operate the controls, even though Selphie thinks this task is too easy for three people, even if some of them couldn't find their asses with two hands and a flashlight. Caraway reiterates the gateway portion of the plan, like it isn't the simplest fucking concept in the universe. Except this time he mentions that the controls are located on the top floor inside the gateway. To get there, they'll enter through the inconspicuous unguarded door I mentioned earlier. Of course now I'm wondering just how often misbehaving teenagers sneak into the unlocked gateway and operate the unlocked controls in order to shut the gate. Because you know they totally would. But that would require the game designers thinking about the entire world during the creation of the game, and that kind of planning would take away from the dramatic and moving love story between Squally and Rinhoa.

Once the gateway team enters the door, Squally and Irvine follow General Caraway to the spot he pointed out earlier. "You two will wait here," he tells them again. Of course, this time there is a crowd gathered around, which makes this even more suspicious. I'm waiting for Caraway to loudly explain the entire plan, just to make extra sure that no NPC is left out of the loop. "General, why has the sorceress decided to have such an extravagant parade? I'll bet it's simply fabulous!" Squally says. "She wants to establish her place in Galbadia Garden, since she has chosen it to serve as her base," Caraway replies. "(So that's why Galbadia Garden wants her out...)" Squally thinks, even though he fucking found out this information already. Also, there seems to be a logic disconnect between "establishing a location as a base" and "extravagant parade." But that's the least of my worries right now. The real reason for a parade is that it offers a prime chance to show off some FMVs. But don't tell the game designers I told you.

Caraway wishes them luck, then returns home. What, he doesn't even want to watch the nifty parade? How sad. We cut to a zoomed out shot of the gateway, where a tiny General Caraway makes his way through the crowd. In the background, Quistis and the others pop out of the gate's doorway. Apparently, Something Is Going On. Zell wonders about the sudden bug up Quistis's butt. "Maybe I was too hard on her..." Quistis sighs, losing every last cool point that she saved up through the game. And you know, maybe I'd give her some credit if she, say, felt bad but shrugged and just went back to her post. But no. She wants to go and fucking apologize to Rinhoa right the fuck then.

It gets worse. Zell and Selphie try to talk some sense into their former instructor, the person who became a SeeD at 15 and is supposedly some military prodigy and who certainly wouldn't ditch out of a mission to apologize to some irritating girl she barely knows that fucking deserved the smackdown anyway. I'm a wee bit irritated, in case you can't tell. Quistis figures she has enough time to get to the general's house and back before 20:00. Not if I'm controlling her, she doesn't. She orders Zell and Selphie to stay behind, as it doesn't exactly take three rocket scientists to operate the gate controls. And here's the really dumb part -- Zell and Selphie fucking go with Quistis. No reason is given for this. I mean, the reason becomes clear gameplay-wise later, but it just makes no sense within the context of the story. These people are fucking idiots.

Why did Zell and Selphie follow Quistis?
They don't have the sense that God gave a braindead Tidus.
So there will be a party of three in the sewers, duh.
Rinhoa is such a valuable and loveable character that it's only natural for the whole squad to want to apologize and bow down to her.
I can't answer this as I have killed myself from the lamery.

 

Try not to be totally shocked, but the nonsense doesn't end there. The game designers for once didn't pull the typical "NPC disappears immediately offscreen" trick. As the retarded gateway team heads back to General Caraway's house, we see Caraway himself walking right in front of them. Not only does no one mention this fact, which you would think might have some bearing on whether or not they go through with their dipshitted plan, but Caraway doesn't even spot them when they enter the house directly after him. Gaze upon this, people, for this is the true face of lazy game design.

Speaking of lazy, one of the NPCs in the crowd looks just like Marty. I suppose it could be Marty, but that would mean that the game designers didn't simply reuse character models. Yeah, you get what I'm saying here.

We cut back to Caraway's office, where Rinhoa still sits on the floor, wanksting. Caraway enters and Rinhoa makes a shooing motion with her hand. "It'll be chaos out there soon. You'll be safe here," he says. God, what a jerk, not letting her do stupid things that will get her in trouble and possibly killed! What kind of parent is he?! Rinhoa the little bitch just shoos him away again. Caraway unfortunately doesn't strangle her, but after he leaves, an ominous clicking and beeping sound alerts Rinhoa to an impending door lock. She rushes to the door, then stands there. "I... I can do it..." she pep talks herself. Yes, walking through a doorway is really hard. She runs out, and two seconds later, Quistis and party run in. "Rinhoa, I'm sorry I..." Quistis begins. Guess what happens next. God, this is so clever and hijinksy. The door closes and locks the gateway team in Caraway's office!!!!! Dun-dun-DUN!!!!!!!

So, so many things that don't make sense. Where to begin? First of all, I'm not the door lock expert, but the whole timed lock thing is just lame. At least if you're going to use something like that to lock someone in, fucking disable the beeping sound. Or watch to make sure the person in question actually remains in the room. Second, there is no God damn way Quistis would not have met up with Rinhoa in the hall. This whole setup is just a dumb, dumb way to create tension. I have no problem with the "Will they make it in time?!" concept, but don't rely on horrible characterization and stupid plot devices to accomplish it.

 
'didn't choke you to death with my whip when I had the chance.'

Anyway, these Einsteins establish that they're locked in and "that Caraway guy" is responsible. "We're smack dab in the middle of a family quarrel here!" Zell bitches. Wow. When you manage to irritate the shit out of Zell, you know you need to take a step back and look at yourself. And I'm referring to Rinhoa as the irritating one here, for the record. I know, I'm so cryptic. "This is bad. I'm worried about Rinhoa, too," Quistis says. What? WHAT?! She's worried about Rinhoa? When there are roughly ten God damn zillion other more important things to worry about right now? Gah! GAH! Don't mind me, I'm just tired of every fucking thing in this game revolving around Rinhoa, even when it shouldn't by any stretch of the imagination. But I guess that's why she's such a textbook example of a Mary Sue. Grr.

Not that we care, but Quistis details why she's worried about Rinhoa -- because the dumb moron is likely to be carrying out her fool plan with the sorceress. And the only reason this sucks for any of the SeeDs is that it could possibly fuck up their mission. Because they're not supposed to cause trouble, remember? Oh, but Rinhoa is a free spirit whom we should all admire because she's so brave and she just wants to heeeeeeeeelp. Quistis, damn her to Hades, seems to be touched by this noble act. I wish there was something stronger than "GRRRR" or "ARRRRRGH" that I could type to convey my irritation. Or maybe I should expand the multimedia portion of the recaps and post a video of me banging my head against the keyboard and tearing my hair out. Well, you all have decent imaginations -- just picture me doing that throughout the rest of the recap. Because I will be.

Speaking of which, I need to make a confession. I'm having a bit of trouble conveying exactly how annoyed I feel with the next sequence without simply resorting to typing random strings of letters with my face or posting sound clips of me yelling in frustration. The best way to describe it, I think, is to imagine my near lethal levels of nausea from the FFX pond scene, and simply change "nausea" to "irritation." Now that I have prepared you, let's continue.

We cut to Rinhoa near a pile of boxes and an open sewer. How appropriate. She's near the back of a building, and the boxes on top of a random truck are piled in such a way that anyone with an IQ of 10 or above could climb up them and jump over to the top of the building wall. So obviously, Rinhoa has trouble with this. I would rather contract a case of infected anal warts than deal with Rinhoa fighting random battles alone, so I skip the optional sewer portion. Rinhoa heads straight for the first box, awkwardly straining and most likely whining as she climbs atop it. Much like a child proud of its first dump in the training potty, Rinhoa squeals, "I'm not a SeeD, but...I can do this..." She slowly climbs up the remaining crates. I should note that I, the player, have to approach each box and hit the X button to make Rinhoa begin her arduous journey to the top. This has to be one of the most tedious sequences in gaming history. Role-playing games start to suck when you're playing a shitty role. Without an Auron to make it more tolerable, I should add, since Tidus is one of the shittiest roles ever.

'DURR! CLMING IS HARRD! DURR!'
 

"This isn't some kind of game..." Rinhoa continues. She jumps across the gap to the wall. It is a pretty decent distance, but in RPG terms, it's like hopping over a sidewalk crack. After a climb up a conveniently-placed ladder that leads to the roof, the "action" cuts straight to a room draped with copious amounts of diaphanous cloth. A lone figure sits in a lone chair beneath an enormous light fixture, her back to us. Just to make sure we comprehend that this is Edea the Sorceress, and not some random guy named Joe, the music changes to a version of the sorceress theme we heard before.

Rinhoa enters from the bottom of the screen, the bracelet concealed "cleverly" behind her back. Obviously she put a lot of thought into this plan. "Umm... Excuse me..." Rinhoa squeaks, "I'm...the daughter of, um...Galbadian Army's, um...General Caraway. I...thought I'd...come pay my respects... You know...'cause of my father and all..." It's nice that she won't even acknowledge his existence unless she can get some use out of it. Bitch. Rinhoa continues to stutter that she brought the sorceress a gift. Edea says nothing, content to let Rinhoa dig her own grave. Finally, Rinhoa walks stiffly toward the sorceress as if she has a stick up her butt, still holding the bracelet behind her back -- that's not suspicious at all! Suddenly, a flash of white light flings Rinhoa backward like Marty McFly with the overdriven amp, where she collapses in a heap by the entrance. Awesome! Although I'm really quite surprised that the sorceress didn't fall for Rinhoa's flawless plan. She must be really psychic!

Rinhoa sits up, noticing that her arm holding the bracelet is buzzing like a vibrator. She gets whipped up into the air by an unseen force, dangling several feet off the ground. It looks like she's holding onto the bracelet for dear life. So either this bracelet has magical midair hovering powers -- in which case it would be rather handy around the house -- or this is just an exhibition of the Great and Terrible Powers of the sorceress. If she's so great, why doesn't she cause Rinhoa's entire body to explode, or maybe something involving fire and laser beams?

Rinhoa twitches once, like something hit her, then falls to the ground in a heap again. I think we're supposed to hate the sorceress here, but I can't really find it in my heart to do so. In fact, I may just be her biggest fan. Goooo, Edea! This scene wouldn't be fabulous enough without a snazzy FMV, so the game designers stuck one in here. But it's kind of random, if you can believe that. Edea's face is hidden by a birdbeak helmet while her lustrous black locks flow out behind her like a goth Mary Sue. She magically causes her hair to disappear inside her helmet or something, then dissolves the birdbeak to show us her gorgeous -- of course -- face, complete with odd eye makeup and purple lipstick. We're not exactly breaking new ground in the sorceress department, here. Rinhoa climbs slowly to her feet in the background, swaying slightly. Edea's garden trellis shoulder ornament pops out with much flair.

Then we have about thirty seconds of Edea running her POONTY hands over herself for no discernable reason. I'm beginning to think that maybe this FMV is a wee bit fanservicy. Finally, Edea turns the door into liquid long enough to let her walk through it. Come on, it's not that tough to open a door the old-fashioned way. Showoff. Edea makes her way to a platform with a podium on the roof, where a tiny Vinzer Deling waits for her. Cue much cheering from the crowd.

I'm going to end this particular recap here, in the interest of splitting my writing completely in half. I know this is a huge, heartpounding cliffhanger here, but just try to be patient until the next recap. It's just one click away. You can do it!

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